78% in an independent poll said build Saddleworth School on the existing site in Uppermill

(source: Saddleworth School Poll on Saddleworth News)


90% of those asked are signing our door to door petition

Over 3000 people have signed a door to door petition asking for the EFA and OMBC to build new Saddleworth School on the existing site in Uppermill and it's growing

Come and JOIN THEM
Sign our online petition TODAY


Flood risk

Why you should avoid building on Flood Plains

by Matt Bidski Mills
Matt has a scientific degree and explains the consequences of building on flood plains.

There are numerous reasons why a school should not be built on the old Shaws site, most notably, that the site is built on a flood plain; tarmacing large areas of the flood plain will increase the rate of run-off into the river and therefore increase the risk of flooding in the centre of Uppermill....

The problem is that it's very difficult to stop this thing from happening - sustainable urban drainage systems (or SUDS) can be very expensive, particularly on a site this size - if they were required to prevent it, they would have to build a large man-made aquifer under the site...my degree covers this subject matter; any questions or queries feel free to message me.

Look at the map on the left. The light blue areas signify flood-prone areas in extreme cases. (For planning and development purposes, this is the same as Flood Zone 2, in England only.)

The dark blue areas signify areas that commonly flood and are of a high flood-risk. (For planning and development purposes, this is the same as Flood Zone 3, in England only)

This map was produced by the Environment Agency, highlighting flood-prone areas in the UK....it is clear already that Uppermill has a considerable flood risk - There are many meanders and bottle necks in the river. The flood plain at Diggle and also the one at Churchill Playing Fields serve the community by allowing capacity within the rivers to expand when necessary. Increased building on either of these sites will exacerbate the flood risk and increase the severity and likelihood of a one in 25/50/100 year event.

I am not biased in any way for or against the new school, I am simply coming at this from a scientific and environmental angle. The site in Diggle is poorly located topographically and access roads would strain under the increased capacity...clear as day....


According to Oldham Council's own Hybrid SFRA report, undertaken in January 2010, when the site was being considered previously for the new Saddleworth School, the recommendation was that this site was not a preferred option for the school. This was due to the risk of flooding from Diggle Brook and the residual flooding from the Huddersfield Narrow Canal. Residual flooding, from the latter, being the more serious risk.

The full report can be found at: http://www.oldham.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/1254/hybrid_strategic_flood_risk_assessment_level_2

Concreting over the field would mean changing a large piece of permeable ground into impermeable ground, so the rain water that currently drains through the soil, will have no choice but to swell Diggle Brook and in turn the River Tame downstream in Uppermill, with inherent risk of flooding. As recently as 2012, normal rain flow increased river levels through Uppermill to an alarming degree.


Oldham Evening Chronicle - 05/03/2014


Some pictures of what happens to the fields in Diggle when it rains

This area in Diggle is called Marslands (derived from Marsh Lands and the name speaks for itself.
It is flood plain grazing marsh and gets very boggy when it rains.)

However it does act as a flood prevention measure for sites further down the river, such as Uppermill.

Below is the field designated for the Sports Hall, which looks more like it has a swimming pool.
The land here collapsed sometime ago and when it rains we get a mini lake.

Flooded field in Diggle designated for the new Saddleworth School Sports Hall, which looks more like it has a swimming pool

Below is the field designated for the sports pitches. The river floods and it just turns into mud.

Flooded field in Diggle designated for the new Saddleworth School sports pitches. The river floods and it just turns into mud.

Below is the flooded river just 100 metres from the school site.

Flooded river in Diggle just 100 metres from the new Saddleworth School site.

Below is the state of the flooded fields at the school site in Diggle on 22/02/2014.

Flooded fields in Diggle at the new Saddleworth School site.

Below is the state of the flooded fields at the school site in Diggle in Summer 2012.

Flooded fields in Diggle at the new Saddleworth School site.


Videos

Building a school on the flood plain in Diggle will increase the risk of flooding further down stream in Uppermill and Greenfield.

Watch a video of the "Diggle Rapids" posted last year. Diggle Brook is not a small stream, as Cllr Lord will have you believe, but can be a raging river, with flooding potential.

If this is the flood risk to Uppermill NOW, how bad will it be if Diggle Brook is stopped from naturally flooding upstream by any flood prevention measures the school development creates to mitigate any flooding of the green fields in Diggle.

This is how close the River Tame came to flooding Jamaica Blue in Uppermill on 6th July 2012

River Tame flowing fast over the stepping stones in Uppermill. Just bursting its banks in places - Jun 2012

A tractor speeds through a flooded Well-i-hole Road in Greenfield - July 2012


News reports

Heavy rain brings more flooding to Saddleworth - Diggle News - 07 July 2012

Flood warning: Environment agency gives advice - Diggle News - 05 July 2012

Debbie Abrahams MP and Cllr Alexander visit flood hit areas in Saddleworth - Diggle News - 25 June 2012


Huddersfield Narrow Canal floods in Diggle

On the 5th September 2014, with no previous rainfall and without warning, the Hudderfield Narrow Canal flooded across from the proposed site of the new Saddleworth School.

Then on the 28th October 2014 it was reported that the Huddersfield Narrow Canal had flooded near Linthwaite.
This was caused by Autumn leaves and other vegetation blocking a weir at Linthwaite, which is a big problem for the Canal and River Trust at this time of year.

Read the full story: Emergency repairs after flooding hits Huddersfield Narrow Canal - 28/10/2014

Below is the view from under the Grade II listed Bridge 69, with the footpath under water.

Huddersfield Narrow Canal floods in Diggle at the proposed site for the new Saddleworth School. View from under the Grade II listed Bridge 69

Below is the view from above the Grade II listed Bridge 69, with water flowing over the top of the lock gates.

Huddersfield Narrow Canal floods in Diggle at the proposed site for the new Saddleworth School. View from above the Grade II listed Bridge 69

Below is the view from the flooded footpath behind the Loom Works in Diggle.

Huddersfield Narrow Canal floods in Diggle at the proposed site for the new Saddleworth School. View from the footpath behind the Loom Works in Diggle

Video of flooding of Hudderfield Narrow Canal in Diggle

Watch a video of the "water overflowing the Huddersfield Narrow Canal at the Grade II listed Bridge 69 in Diggle" on 5th September 2014.
This is directly next to the proposed site for the new Saddleworth School in Diggle.


Boxing Day 2015 flooding in Diggle

Watch a video of the "flooding at the proposed new Saddleworth School site in Diggle" on 26th December 2015.

Below is the view from the public footpath looking across to the field proposed for the new Saddleworth School sports pitches. Even the footbridge over Diggle Brook is submerged.

Boxing Day 2015 flooding in Diggle : View from the public footpath looking across to the field proposed for the new Saddleworth School sports pitches

Below is the view from the public footpath on the field proposed for the new Saddleworth School sports pitches looking back over Diggle Brook to Huddersfield Road. The extent of the flooding is severe.

Boxing Day 2015 flooding in Diggle : view from the public footpath on the field proposed for the new Saddleworth School sports pitches looking back over Diggle Brook to Huddersfield Road

Below is the view from the Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath adjacent to the proposed school looking over the Grade II listed Bridge 69 towards the east and the railway line.

Boxing Day 2015 flooding in Diggle : View from the Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath adjacent to the proposed school looking over the Grade II listed Bridge 69 towards the east

Below is the view from the Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath adjacent to the proposed school with water streaming down the from the Grade II listed Bridge 69.

Boxing Day 2015 flooding in Diggle : View from the Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath adjacent to the proposed school with water streaming down the from the Grade II listed Bridge 69.

Below is the view from the Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath adjacent to the proposed school sports pitches with water streaming overflowing the canal bank.

Boxing Day 2015 flooding in Diggle : View from the Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath adjacent to the proposed school sports pitches with water streaming overflowing the canal bank

Below is the view from the Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath adjacent to the proposed school sports pitches with water streaming over the fields from the canal.

Boxing Day 2015 flooding in Diggle : View from the Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath adjacent to the proposed school sports pitches ith water streaming over the fields from the canal

Below is the view from the Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath down the public footpath to the north of the proposed school site, with a river of water streaming down the footpath from the canal.

Boxing Day 2015 flooding in Diggle : View from the Huddersfield Narrow Canal towpath down the public footpath to the north of the proposed school site, with a river of water streaming down the footpath from the canal