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Mytholm Steeps Mill Chimney Demolition

From Kate Brougham

Monday, 7 October 2019

A Section 80 demolition notice was issued by Setbray Properties Ltd for the demolition of the mill chimney on Mytholm Steeps (Savile Road). I’ve contacted the council to ask for the reason but the company haven’t completed the forms and stated why. We haven’t seen anyone assessing the chimney so it doesn’t look as if this is a safety issue. 

The mill chimneys are iconic in Hebden Bridge and this one was part of Brown’s Mill, originally Mytholm Mill built in 1789 by James King of Mytholm Hall. 

It’s an important record of the local history and a focal point in Mytholm. The chimney’s also surrounded by protected Oak trees and it wouldn’t be possible to put the scaffolding up without damaging them.  It would be awful if this goes ahead. 

If you’d like to object, email consultsandreps@calderdale.gov.uk, quoting the case number 19/80003/DNO. The planning officer has told me that we need to lay out sound reasons (conservation, historical, environmental).

From Kez Armitage

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Apparently we are not allowed to comment on this application. The Council website says "The Council will not be approving or refusing the proposal, so comments are not invited."

So, bit by bit, stone by stone, the history of our valley is being obliterated. This year has been particularly bad with the demolition of Walkley's clog factory.

The chimney is due to be destroyed in November, and it seems that neither we nor the Council can do anything about it. Perhaps only when the last vestige of the valley's industrial past has been obliterated, will we begin to regret our apathy and inaction.

From Andrew Noble

Thursday, 10 October 2019

I can't believe we are happy destroying another piece of our industrial heritage, it seems like  there is the attitude of "get it down quick and be rid of the potential problem" instead of "hold on a minute let's just think about some presevation".

My family have walked or driven passed this chimney every day for at least 75 years and it looks the same now as it ever did. It's 230 years old.

If it was a house, it would be listed. What would the stone be used for? Hardcore probably. It's curved. It can't be used for anything other than a chimney.

I really don't understand the reasoning behind it's demolition, unless they have found a problem with it after this summer's inspection. When I noticed the guys on the chimney I thought "Oh great, someone is looking after it, having it checked." Has this thrown up a problem?

Somebody needs to slam a presevation order on it, as if it were a tree, there would be an uproar. Feeling sad for future generations…

From Kate Brougham

Thursday, 10 October 2019

My neighbour has spoken to the agent for Setbray who has said that a small amount of upkeep is required to some of the masonry, but that combined with the insurance means they don’t want the hassle any more. The chimney is otherwise safe. They suggested they would sell it for £1. 

I’ve spoken to the planning officer, local councillors, local heritage experts and Historic England regarding this.

I submitted an application to have the chimney listed which Historic England are regarding as a priority due to the short deadline.

I’ve submitted concerns to the council regarding the bats, protected trees and potential subsidence issues but they have said that unless Setbray report the presence of bats during demolition (unlikely), it’s unlikely the demolition will be stopped. Damage to the oak trees will just result in a fine. Subsidence would be a private legal issue for the homeowner.

It may still be worth emailing concerns to the email address I included in my first message, but if anyone has relevant historical/archeological information about the site which would support the application, let me know.

Many thanks.

From Julie C

Thursday, 10 October 2019

I'm sad to hear this chimney is under threat.

People might be interested in an earlier thread about the risk to Wireform's chimney on Stubbing Holme. In trying without success to get it protected, I discovered that the vast majority of the old chimneys have no protected status. In fact, I think Bridge Mill and Old Town are the only ones, the Old Town one only getting protected at the last minute by a combination of local people turning out to stop the demolition when the crane had already arrived and speedy action by a nearby resident to get it listed.

From Finbar Shields

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Hi Kate and any other interested parties,

Thank you for bringing this up, and for your work in trying to prevent it!

We are having a discussion about this on the Hebden Bridge Facebook page, if you'd like to chime in, find us here.

I think that if upkeep costs are the issue as it seems, there is a chance that we can fund such a thing as a community ourselves, and there are several other avenues to pursue. The first priority would be stopping the demolition on the 1st November so that we have time to consider our options. Is there anyone at Setbray we can contact to do such a thing? 

I know they don't want to deal with the trouble of dozens of people coming to the site to physically prevent the demolition on the day. 

From Kate Brougham

Monday, 14 October 2019

Hi Finbar,

Thanks for the link to the Facebook page. I’ll join that now.

I’ve requested the purchase information from the agent for Setbray Properties Ltd today and I’m hoping they will respond soon. Myself and my neighbour are also attending the meeting with the Civic Trust tomorrow to discuss a possible purchase. 

The number for the agent is 01422 883317. I spoke to them today and they know efforts are being made to save the chimney. I heard that Old Town saved their chimney by blocking the bulldozers whilst the listing application went through.... (See Julie C's post above)