£17m property deals lead to new Oldham school and housing

Camilla Thornberry

Two property deals in Oldham, worth a total of £17.5m, have been concluded by the commercial property department of law firm Slater Heelis.

The deals, in Diggle, began with a new Saddleworth secondary school and culminated in much-needed new housing for the area.

Acting for client WRT Developments, Slater Heelis associate solicitor Camilla Thornberry completed the disposal of the first part of the site, located off Huddersfield Road in Diggle, to Oldham Borough Council in May 2020.

Planning had already been obtained for the new secondary school to occupy this site in September 2017.

After years of delays and protracted negotiations the deal had to be completed within a very tight timescale, all against the backdrop of the first few weeks of the pandemic and the ensuing lockdown.

The remainder of the site was subsequently sold last year to Redrow Homes for the construction of residential properties. The access road into the site is shared with the school and was subsequently adopted by the highway authority.

Planning was in place from March 2022, for 77 residential properties, of which eight would be affordable, with the remainder being market housing. Redrow has now stated that it is proposing an alternative scheme which would reduce the density of the development to 66 homes.

The site was formerly occupied by Shaw Pallet Works, which ceased trading in 2006.

Camilla Thornberry said: “I was delighted to be involved in these transactions and to assist WRT Developments Limited finally to achieve the sale of this site after years of hard work by a number of people.

“This deal is not only great news for local families – whose previous school building was no longer fit for purpose – but also for the wider local community that have been in need of new housing.”