Welcome

Welcome to the Thornham St John’s Neighbourhood Forum website.

We created our forum because we share a common purpose and objective to protect and enhance our neighbourhood and to make it an area that is vibrant, socially inclusive, and generally the greenest, safest place to live, work and play that it can possibly be.

Forum members are individuals who either live, work or regularly pursue leisure activities (walking, horse riding, cycling, ornithology, fishing, etc.) in the Slattocks/Stakehill and surrounding area. Members of the forum are all connected to the daily life of the neighbourhood and are keen that any changes in the area are beneficial to all.

If you support our aim then please do tell us what you think to help make the Thornham St John’s neighbourhood the best possible place it can be.

There’s no fee, no commitment and no onus on you to do anything. All we ask is that you share our vision of making Thornham St John’s neighbourhood a great place to live, work and play!

GMA21-Castleton sidings

This document shows an indicative layout for the site.
The convoluted, proposed access for the housing would appear be via Heywood Road, Heap Street and then part of Fairway.
Vehicles would exit either via Hanover St/Durban St or along the narrow, one-way Partington Street
A secondary exclusive access point for the East Lancs Railway (ELR) is shown from the old Directors Arms, two-way section Heywood Road, joining Manchester Road at the railway bridge.

There are another 2 docs associated with this site which you will find at:

https://www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/what-we-do/housing/gmsf2020/supporting-documents/

You’ll need to select the ‘Rochdale’ zip file
which will download all those relating to all the sites across Rochdale Borough

GMA26-Trows Farm

This document shows an indicative layout for the site with the only access (‘Primary Access’) through the industrial units on Crown Top Lane from Queensway.
A secondary access point via Trows Lane is shown for emergency vehicles only and would probably be gated and locked.

There are another 2 docs associated with this site which you will find at:

https://www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/what-we-do/housing/gmsf2020/supporting-documents/

You’ll need to select the ‘Rochdale’ zip file
which will download all those relating to all the sites across Rochdale Borough

GMA2-Stakehill

This first document has been produced for Redrow, the house builder, and shows an indicative plan for housing on the Northern part of the site.
The main access would be via the All-in-One garden centre from the A664, Rochdale Road.

You will notice a number of typing and other mistakes throughout the document

This second document shows a very vague plan for housing along Bentley Avenue and continuing across Stakehill Lane, along with proposals for industrial units between the A627M and Stakehill Lane at Stakehill Nurseries and then continuing down Boarshaw Lane at Three Gates Farm to the railway line.

These documents are just the start!

There are a total of 20 docs associated with these sites which you will find at:

https://www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/what-we-do/housing/gmsf2020/supporting-documents/

You’ll need to select the ‘Cross boundary’ zip file
which will download all those relating to Stakehill

Now is the Time – to contact your Councillors and MP

The next draft of the GMSF plan to decimate local Green Belt is about to be published.

The template letter/email below is there for you to send to your local Ward Councillors.
I believe shows them the strength of local feeling about saving the Green Belt from development.But before you send anything, please make sure:

  1. the Councillors names are correct as some of you are not in the Castleton Ward but in North Middleton. If that’s the case then your Councillors are Kallum Nolan, Sara Rowbotham and Donna Williams.
  2. Add your name and address at the end.

There is also a second template for you to send to our MP, Chris Clarkson, urging him to act in support of this matter.Again, add your name and address at the end.

And here’s is a list of email and postal addresses for all the Councillors and MP for your convenience.

Of course, you don’t have to use these templates. You can send them in your own words

Air Pollution Monitoring

Last December (2019) we placed a number of ‘diffusion tubes’ around Slattocks to monitor Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2).
These tubes only give an average reading over the time they are in place.

A diffusion Tube (arrowed) in place locally

See the results of this project by clicking here

We did this in conjunction with the British Lung Foundation (BLF). They are keen to raise awareness about the affects of air pollution on us all.

Now we’ve installed a more sophisticated air quality monitor – the Zephyr by Earthsense .

Gerard Skelly said:

“Living on a busy main road I think it’s so important that I’ve got access to the Green Belt for fresh air and exercise

” I want the Government to make tougher laws to reduce the levels of pollution”

“I’m very happy to ‘do my bit’ to help monitor air quality in the area”

Gordon Tilstone, Chair of TSJNF and Slattocks resident Gerard Skelly withthe Zephyr monitor installed behind them

Further information on the BLF’s work can be found here: British Lung Foundation

Simister Island – Upgrade

Highways England have started a consultation on a major redesign of the M66/62/60 Simister Island junction.

Click Here to go to the Consultation page

The text below is copied directly from the Highways England website:

Why we need this scheme

In March 2020, the Government’s second Road Investment Strategy included a commitment for Highways England to improve Simister Island Interchange between the M62, M60 and M66.

Simister Island Interchange is one of the busiest motorway junctions in the north-west used by around 90,000 vehicles each day. The junction struggles with such high volumes of traffic above what it was designed for, and as a result suffers from congestion and poor journey time reliability.

The project will improve junction 18 of the M60 and facilitate smoother flows of traffic along the connecting motorways, contributing to more reliable and safer journeys into and around Greater Manchester.

Aims

The main aims of the scheme are:

  • Improve the journey experience for users of this section of network by:
    • reducing peak congestion and faster average speeds
    • reducing journey times
    • delivering more reliable journey times
  • Provide an option which is safe for all road users
  • Minimise the impact of the project on the surrounding environment including within Noise Important Areas and Air Quality Management Areas
  • Facilitate future economic growth across the Greater Manchester area and support delivery of proposed development sites close to the M60 and M66

Rochdale Rail Corridor Strategy

Rochdale Council have published (May 2020) the “Rochdale Rail Corridor Strategy” (RRCS).

The RRCS includes a proposal for a new rail station at Slattocks along with developments around current stations along the Calder Valley line at Castleton, Rochdale, Smithy Bridge and Littleborough.

It also mentions linking the East Lancs Railway (ELR) to the mainline at Castleton.
The ELR is the heritage ‘steam’ line that currently runs from Heywood to Rawtenstall.

Click this link to see the Rochdale_Corridor_Strategy.pdf

The document shows 400 and 800 metre perimeters around the rail stations but fails to explain what these mean.

The Rail Strategy doesn’t mention the GMSF
or the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) Strategy 2040

When lockdown conditions are eased we’ll meet with our local Councillors & MPs about the Rail Strategy and other issues affecting the area to try to convince them that development via a Brownfield First policy is the best way to properly protect the Green Belt.

What do you think?

Leave your comment in the box below

Air Quality Monitoring

You may remember we put up Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) monitoring tubes around the area in November last year (2019).
NO2 is one of the air-borne pollutants in vehicle emissions and is known to cause health problems

Exposure to high pollution episodes can cause immediate harm to everyone by:
– Irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat
– Wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and breathing difficulties
– Worsening of existing lung and heart problems, such as asthma.
As the heart, lungs and blood cells pump oxygen to every part of the body, they also come into contact and carry along toxic pollutants like NO2 and other noxious air-borne particulates.
The body must therefore work harder to supply oxygen and overcome the effects of these chemicals, causing the above symptoms.

This is where the tubes were located

And the results we got were:

1 40.85
2 37.76
3 25.75
4 32.58
5 33.56

According current regulations the exposure limit to NO2 is 40 ug/m3 (micrograms per metre cubed).

So one result is over the recommended limit

Not surprisingly, the monitor tube at St Johns School gave the lowest result, given that it’s furthest away from traffic on the main road.

Whilst the results are somewhat surprising we will soon be able to get a more accurate result using a more sophisticated air quality monitor, pictured below, which ‘tests’ for a wider range of substances.
The British Lung Foundation (BLF) who are supplying the new monitor are also keen to do further work with us around the health & clean air issues.

. Image: EarthSense.co.uk

Further information on air quality and Nitrogen Dioxide monitoring can be found at these links:
Air Quality Expert Group: Nitrogen Dioxide in the United Kingdom – Summary
Air Quality and You

The Lockdown & GMSF low down

Hello to everyone hope you’re all fit & well and staying safe.

We’re continuing to develop our TSJ neighbourhood plan for the area and have applied for grant funding so we can engage a planning consultant to help pull the plan together.

We will soon be out and about again putting up signs and banners to remind people how precious the green belt is to all of us.
Please let us know if you’d like one of the signs on your property. Just email info@tsjnf.org

We are doing all this in preparation
for the next GMSF consultation
which will probably be in Autumn this year.

However, GM Mayor Andy Burnham has said that due to COVID-19 the plan will now be amended.
This is what he’s said in a recent press conference (3rd June 2020) about the GMSF plan:

“It’s being reviewed…. The economy is going to face a challenging period and that will have an implication for the GMSF, particularly its five year delivery plan. Equally, there may be more opportunity for houses to be built in areas where the high street could be hit by the downturn…”

On the face of it, this looks like good news in terms of protecting Green Belt from development, but it’s far from clear that it actually means that.