It’s no secret achieving growth can be difficult. But as of September it is expected work will begin to deliver an exciting new development on Green Street in Radcliffe.

The site has been a key plank of Bury Council’s strategic regeneration framework for the town, with several goals being sought, including an emphasis on affordable homes, high standards of sustainable development and additional jobs.

On the first of these, by working with local developer Watson Homes and housing provider Great Places, the council has secured 97 affordable properties out of 132 – which amounts to 73 per cent, way in excess of the 25 per cent minimum target on new developments.

With regards to sustainability, increasingly important given the ongoing energy crisis, the development will now include the installation of heat pumps and solar panels.

Finally, in addition to providing vital new homes, the partnership approach has resulted in new places of work and social space, with new office space and an allocation for a food and beverage unit.

The rejuvenation of this site fits into a wider number of council projects taking place in Radcliffe as part of Labour’s regeneration aspirations in Radcliffe, such as the new civic hub with state-of-the-art leisure facilities, additional brownfield homes being created on School Street, upgrading the Market Chambers for retail purposes and the market basement into useable community space.

Alongside this has been our work with the Department of Education and their chosen provider for the new high school in Radcliffe, Star Academies.

With Green Street we secured vital new affordable homes on a brownfield site, sustainable technology to reduce the impact on the environment as well as residents’ bills, new employment and social spaces in the town centre.

Despite this long list of positives, there was nothing but opposition and objections from the Radcliffe First group of councillors. If we take out those Radcliffe First members on the planning committee, it was incredibly disappointing to see such attitudes on display from the politicians who dubiously claim to put their town first.

When one looks at Radcliffe First’s track record, however, such a position is not surprising. We have seen their politicians opposing the £2.4m investment into Radcliffe FC’s new facilities on Redbank playing fields – improvements benefitting the club, junior teams, and the wider community.

Not content with trying to block that, their representatives have also opposed our plans to modernise and expand the library space in the new hub and re-provide the existing space as a centre of excellence for business support to local businesses in Radcliffe.

On top of all that, there has been endless criticism of our plans to upgrade the market basement into useable space for functions and community events.

When you see all of this negativity and opposition, you can see why I am not surprised at their attempts to block the brownfield development on Green Street.

It is not just the string of cynical opposition positions - it is the hypocrisy. They said they wanted more high-density brownfield homes to protect greenbelt - we agreed and delivered a sustainable, majority affordable development. But no, that wasn’t good enough.

It’s clear their actions are not only hypocritical, but they are also letting their own residents down. Radcliffe First say they want to regenerate Radcliffe but left to them nothing would get done.

There is no doubt, they are the blockers, and we are the builders. Only with Labour will Radcliffe finally see the delivery of these schemes and that is precisely what we plan to do, whether Radcliffe First try to block it or not.