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

Delay announced next GMSF Consultation

The Greater Manchester Combined Authorities (GMCA) which is made of the 10 Greater Manchester Councils, including Rochdale, have now analysed and published the results of the GMSF Consultation (held Jan-March 2019).

Many residents from Slattocks and Stakehill sent in comments on the 2nd draft of the proposals.

Out of some 51 separate allocations/sites, our local allocation, GM Allocation 2: Stakehill, had the ninth highest number of comments, some 982.

This shows the strength of feeling amongst the local community in wanting a ‘have a say’ in the future of the area.

The GMCA publicity statement can be seen at the link below.

GMCA Statement

Results of the Consultation (Jan-March 2019)

“The proposed site allocation policies generated a significant number of responses with most focusing on loss of Green Belt”

The above quote is directly from the Report and reinforces just how much people across Greater Manchester feel about the plans.

Clicking the link below will take you to the GMSF report for September 2019.
Then go to Page 73

GMSF Report

Survey Form – Prize Draw Winner

Many thanks to all those of you who completed the TSJNF Survey, whether that was on the paper copy posted through your door or the online version.

Well  the winner of the Prize Draw, worth £150 – a 3 month membership of the Mercure Norton Grange Gym is…

Mr Stephen Broughton

The winner was drawn by ballot from those who completed the survey, today, by Councillor Billy Sheerin, Castleton Ward Councillor and Deputy Mayor of Rochdale Borough Council 

Many thanks to Councillor Sheerin for his time and also Rama, the Manager at the Norton Grange for providing the prize. Very  much appreciated.


GMSF: Its Andy Burnham v Local Councils

For anyone who thought that the threat to Greenbelt locally and across GM had gone away, here’s proof that local Councils continue to want to use more of it.

This article    
Manchester Evening
published 19 September 2018 may come as a surprise to many.

Following delays in publishing this draft of the GMSF, residents across GM were expecting to see it by November this year.

Does the apparent disagreements between Mayor Andy Burnham and the ten local Councils cast doubt on this date?

Following Andy Burnham’s appointment as GM Mayor, he told local councils to go back to the drawing board as he wanted to see a major rewrite of the GMSF. Many believe this was mainly because he recognised that opposition to it by GM residents was substantial and couldn’t be ignored.

Along side this, Rochdale Council have just published their Draft Site Allocations Plan (September 2018). This shows were they want local developments to be placed in the Borough with the vast majority being on brownfield sites and Town centres.

The MEN article specifically mentions Bury, Rochdale & Oldham as wanting to see a re-balancing of investment & development in GM towards these areas.

Whilst we cannot deny that homes & employment opportunities are needed, we strongly believe that building on Greenbelt is wholly wrong as it aims:

  • To check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas
  • To prevent neighbouring towns from merging into one another
  • To assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment
  • To preserve the setting and special character of historic towns
  • To assist in urban regeneration, by encouraging the recycling of derelict and other urban land.

The stated opportunities and benefits of Greenbelt include:

  • Providing opportunities for access to the open countryside for the urban population
  • Providing opportunities for outdoor sport and outdoor recreation near urban areas
  • The retention of attractive landscapes and the enhancement of landscapes, near to where people live
  • Improvement of damaged and derelict land around towns
  • The securing of nature conservation interests
  • The retention of land in agricultural, forestry and related uses.

Allocating Land for building

This piece appeared in Rochdale Online 10 September 2018

The public are being asked for their views on a plan which identifies sites for the new homes and employment spaces needed in the borough up to 2028.

The draft plan focuses development around major town centres and transport links. These include new homes in and around Rochdale town centre, south of Heywood town centre, Warwick Mill in Middleton and sites close to Littleborough town centre.

The plan will also identify and protect important green spaces, identify sites to manage the risk from flooding and help to deliver associated infrastructure like transport.

The proposals prioritise development of brownfield sites, including the re-use of vacant older employment land which no longer meets modern business needs.

Around 400 homes could be built on the British Vita site close to Mills Hill station in Middleton, 200 homes at Royle Barn Road in Castleton and 150 homes at Dyehouse Lane, Smallbridge.

Land is also identified for around 210 hectares of new employment uses including land within Kingsway Business Park, Heywood Distribution Park, Stakehill Industrial Estate and Smallbridge Business Park, along with employment development as part of a wider mixed-use urban extension south of Heywood.

The document includes designated green spaces, which will be offered additional protection from development under the plan. This will include areas safeguarded for flood storage to help flood risk management for Littleborough and central Rochdale.

The plan designates sites to help bring the East Lancashire Railway from Heywood to Castleton.

Councillor Daalat Ali, Cabinet member for planning, development and housing at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “We have identified a number of key brownfield sites as part of this plan which will help us achieve this, but we want residents’ and businesses’ views.”

The consultation on the allocations plan runs from the 10 September to 5 November 2018.

Comments can be made by email to:

All comments must be received by midnight on 5 November.

Drop in sessions will take place at the following locations:

  • Monday 17 September, 4-7pm – Phoenix Centre, Church Street, Heywood
  • Tuesday 18 September, 4-7pm – Hare Hill House, Hare Hill Road, Littleborough
  • Monday 24 September, 4-7pm – Number One Riverside, Smith Street, Rochdale
  • Monday 1 October, 4-7pm – Middleton Library, Long Street, Middleton
  • Tuesday 23 October, 4-7pm – Butterworth Hall, Milnrow


Click this link to see the RBC Draft Allocations Plan – Sept 2018


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!