PLANS to build more than 70 homes in Diggle will be put under the spotlight next week after a wave of objections.

A planning application to construct 77 properties east of Huddersfield Road was sent to the council on two areas of land.

One area of land for 45 homes is proposed to be accessed from the road serving the new Saddleworth School site while the other, containing 32 properties, is planned to be served directly from Huddersfield Road.

Part of the former Shaw Pallet Works to the east of the development land is the Grade II listed Dobcross Works Office, which falls within the "development limit" of the school site.

There are another two Grade II listed buildings to the south east of the site along Huddersfield Road, around 150m from the southern boundary.

But the site does not fall within a conservation area.

A layout of the site

A layout of the site

After the plans were made public, 79 objections were made by residents and Saddleworth Parish Council has recommended for the application to be refused.

Among its reasons arguing for it to be turned down, the parish council argues there is "poor vehicle access" which would result in "congestion issues".

Overdevelopment and more pressure on services such as schools, are other concerns raised.

The parish council said an application of this type should only be considered once Saddleworth School is completed and an "impact assessment carried out".

Objections made by residents also shared concerns about access to the site as well as an "increase in traffic and pollution".

But in a report prepared for the council's planning committee on Wednesday, the local authority has recommended for the application to be approved.

The report said: "Having considered the transport assessment, the council’s highway engineer does not consider that there will be any additional significant amount of traffic generated which would have a severe impact on the network.

"The mitigation measures being implemented as a result of the construction of the new school will also serve to mitigate the impacts of the proposed residential development while improving the highway safety in the area and for future residents."

In conclusion, the report said the development "will provide a significant and positive contribution towards the council’s identified housing needs in a sustainable location".

It is proposed that the site will have 10 per cent of affordable housing and the developer will pay £378,747.30 towards improving open space provision and make a contribution to compensate for the loss of suitable ground nesting bird habitat.