Following Oldham Council Planning Committee’s unanimous approval to our hybrid planning application for Northern Roots urban farm and eco-park near Oldham town centre, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has now confirmed that the application will not be called in for further review.

Northern Roots 160-acre site with Oldham town centre

As the development is to be located within the greenbelt, planning legislation obligates the application to be referred to the Rt Hon Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities for consideration. Having assessed the application, however, the Secretary of State has now confirmed that he does not wish to call in the application for further review.

Oldham Council has therefore issued approval of planning permission for the scheme, which includes detailed planning permission for the Visitor Centre, Learning Centre, Forestry Hub, Solar array and sports pitches, and outline planning permission for the market garden and swimming pond.

The approved designs, which were informed by extensive consultation with local communities, focus on the northern third of the 160-acre site. The Visitor Centre and Learning Centre have been co-designed by JDDK Architects and local communities, and incorporate green roofs, habitat walls, renewable energy sources, and sustainable materials. The Visitor Centre houses a café, shop, exhibition and meeting space. The Learning Centre, which has been inspired by the concept of a tree house, includes classrooms and a bunkroom.

Cllr Amanda Chadderton, Leader of Oldham Council, commented,  “We are delighted that the Secretary of State has given the go ahead for Northern Roots. We can now move forwards with creating the UK’s largest urban farm and eco-park in Oldham, developing a unique community resource and visitor destination that will bring local residents and communities, economic, social and environmental benefits. “

Set in the heart of Oldham, work on the Visitor Centre and other elements will commence in late 2023 and create a unique new community asset and visitor destination, offering a range of new facilities and activities whilst also creating jobs, training and business opportunities for local people. In addition to protecting and enhancing the habitat, biodiversity and environmental value of the 160-acre site, the project will also support the health and wellbeing of local residents and communities.

Northern Roots Community Food Growing Project

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