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4,000 join march for Greenbelt.
Thursday 7th March 2019 @ 14:00 by Anna Fletcher
Community Events News

Around 4000 people turned up to protest plans to build on the greenbelt in Oldham including MP Jim McMahon.

Protestors gathered at Thornham St James Primary School, which faces a proposed site at Hanging Chadder, before moving on to Thornham Old Road, the monument at Tandle Hill and then down to the visitor’s centre.

Chairman of the Save Royton’s Greenbelt group, Noel Mahon, said: “We got even more people than our first march and that was in spite of the bad weather. I think if the weather had been better, we would have got close to 5000 people. It was a jolly good day and it helped to raise a lot more awareness, a lot of people who came along had only just heard about the proposals. It was great to have the support of Jim and local councillors too.”

After making it to the visitor’s centre the crowds got to hear from a range of people including MP Jim McMahon, Noel and Gary Palmer, both from the Royon group, and indiviuals from other Save the Greenbelt groups who had come along to show their support.

There was also an interesting talk from historian, Dr Robert Poole, who explained he significance of Tandle Hill and how it was used by radicals in the lead up to the Peterloo Massacre to practice marching and drills.

All Royton councillors apart from Cllr Hannah Roberts who was away were in attendance and the event was covered by Granada and the BBC.

The deadline to object to proposals is midnight on Monday March 18. Information on how to do this can be found at

Noel added: “We would like all greenbelt sites removed from the proposals. Our message to Oldham Council is to look at brownfield sites and explore them in depth. Leave the greenbelt alone, it is important to local people and hopefully we have shown that with how many people came to support the march on Sunday.”

Photos by Nigel Wood.