Discussion Forum
Plans for development on Acre Mill asbestos tip?

From Fran R
Thursday, 15 October 2009

Below - extract from letter received from Calderdale dated 13th October 2009.

LAND AT SITE at Land adjacent Automobilia, Billy Lane Hebden Bridge
Proposed detached dwelling

I am writing to tell you that an appeal has been made to the Secretary of State for the environment in respect of the above site. The appeal follows the refusal of planning permission by this Council.

If you have already made any comments following the original application...they will be forwarded to the Planning Inspectorate and to the appellant and will be taken into account by the Inspector in deciding the appeal.

If you wish to make any further comments, the Planning Inspectorate will not acknowledge your letter unless you specifically ask them to do so. They will however, ensure that your letter is passed on to the Inspector dealing with the appeal.

Please ensure that three copies of any representations are received by the Planning Inspectorate by 12th November 2009.

The Planning Inspectorate
Room 3/18A
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Temple Quay
Bristol BS1 6PN

Please quote reference: APP/A4710/A//09/2113852/WF

From Emma S
Saturday, 31 October 2009

The applicant has now appealed against the decision by Calderdale to turn this down - reason given: green belt.

This will now go to appeal for a decision.

There is real concern about this site as there are eye-witness accounts of asbestos being tipped on there during the building of the car park in the 70s, which this building application would disturb.

People live nearby; the village school is adjacent to the site. Enough people have died and continue to die as a result of the legacy from Acre Mill. We must not let any more people become at risk of harm from asbestos.

Acre Mill may be a thing of the past but the risk of harm from it continues. Please attend the public meeting at the White Lion pub Hebden Bridge on Nov 4th 7.30 to find out more.

From Emma S
Thursday, 5 November 2009

Many thanks to everyone who attended last night's gripping and very moving meeting. The meeting was a great success as was the showing of the two films. We are well on the way towards putting a good case together as regards the concerns which will be submitted to the planning inspector.
Watch this space!

From Fran R
Sunday, 22 November 2009

Cape Asbestos had another factory in Barking. Today's Independent newspaper tells what happened there and continues to happen, despite the factory being closed down in 1968.

"They called it "the Barking cough". First it began like any other: a tickle in the chest and slight pain on breathing. Then, within a matter of months, the sufferer was in agony, gasping for air and eventually suffocating to death as a vicious cancer attacked their lungs waiting for the final lingering, inevitable end which might not come for decades.

The legacy of the Cape Asbestos factory in Barking, east London, where asbestos-related cancers continue to kill scores of residents, is a deadly one. Hundreds of people have died since the factory closed in 1968.

The story of Barking's "industrial killing machine" is a story repeated up and down the country where thousands of Britons continue to be blighted by their industrial past. Exposure to asbestos is now the biggest killer in the British workforce, killing about 4,000 people every year – more than who die in traffic accidents. The shocking figures are the grim legacy of the millions of tons of the dust shipped to Britain to make homes, schools, factories and offices fire resistant. It was used in products from household fabrics to hairdryers."

Full article

From Fran R
Sunday, 29 November 2009

Following on from the article in the Independent last week about Cape Asbestos in Barking, the Independent were inundated with harrowing personal stories and have dedicated another article specifically to these stories. Cape Asbestos is mentioned more than once. See Full article

The same journalist Emily Dugan has written another moving article in today's Independent called "Lost or missing insurance policies leave asbestos victims without compensation" highlighting the untraced mesothelioma cases that save the insurance industry an estimated £60m a year, leaving sufferers and their families to struggle on government benefits that are a tenth of what they would be paid in a claim.

A resident from Hebden Brudge states in that article:
"In Hebden Bridge, we have what was the other Cape UK asbestos factory, Acre Mill at Old Town. People in the area are still dying from asbestosis and related illnesses. I find it incredible that so many of our generation and younger have no idea that people are still affected by the legacy of asbestos." Cape Asbestos crops in other stories too. See full article

The Mirror newspaper campaign has been running for months and has and continues to evoke responses from people with stories to tell of their grief and sadness when they or their family succumb to asbestos illness: See full article

Ex local man and now journalist Mark Piggott wrote in The Telegraph in October 2007 about Acre Mill in an article called "Dust Storm". See full article

Launched last month The Health and Safety's own campaign going out in the press, the internet and on TV telling us "Asbestos is a hidden killer so now's the time to get clued up on the facts, so that you, your workmates, your friends and family are protected"
See full article:

The latest figures published by the Health and Safety Executive show that the numbers of deaths from the asbestos related cancer, mesothelioma, are continuing to rise.

The figures published on the 28th October 2009 show that deaths from mesothelioma have increased from 153 in 1968 to 2156 in 2007. See full article

Do we need any more convincing?

From Emma S
Monday, 22 March 2010

Well, the planning appeal has finally been thrown out and common sense has prevailed. We are really chuffed.... people power has worked!

It has been humbling and fascinating to be involved with this campaign. I have learnt a great deal about my local area and some of the marvellous people who live here, and hearing the memories of the people who used to work at Acre Mill has given me a new understanding of Old Town village, and the legacy of Acre Mill.

This is just one small victory though. The legacy of the mill is still present around the valley. People still suffer the effects of asbestosis and sadly there is likely to be further loss of life. There are also still dumps of asbestos waste in various locations around the valley that Calderdale council has not adequately dealt with as yet. There is more work to be done with the Council to get it to behave responsibly in relation to these sites.

We must not forget the legacy of Acre Mill. This case just goes to show that it is not a past issue, it's still very much an issue for the present.

See also

Hebweb News: Plans may disturb Acre Mill's deadly asbestos (March 2009)

Planning Watch

Earlier forum thread - Plans for development on Acre Mill asbestos tip?

Hebweb Feature on Acre Mill

This is a new thread branching off from the earlier thread: Coop's Ethical Water