Share this page

Small ads

Update: Acre Mill caravan and camping site proposal scrapped

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

A HebWeb reader, who does not wish to be named, has sent the HebWeb a copy of a letter she has received from the Caravan and Camping Club which says: "Please be advised that we have completed our investigations and have concluded not to proceed with this application."

Acre Mill asbestos site could become a site for caravans and camping

Thursday, 17 September 2015

See update below

There is growing disquiet in Old Town and Wadsworth at the prospect of the old Acre Mill asbestos site being used as a small caravan and campsite. The owner of part of the site, opposite the old "Automobilia" car museum, now converted into houses, has applied to the Camping and Caravanning Club for it to become a certificated "small" site for up to 5 caravans and 10 tents, with basic services such as a water supply and facilities for disposing of waste from chemical toilets.

Acre Mill

Thanks to Frank Woolrych of the Hebden Bridge Local History Group for
making this photo of Acre Mill available: taken in the 1970s.

Hundreds of people in the Hebden Bridge area have died from asbestos related cancers, mainly contracted from working at Acre Mill. In 2010, plans for housing on the site were thrown out. The Planning Inspectorate commented, "To my mind without further information about the likely location, type and level of any contamination it is not clear whether it would be possible to develop the site safely."

"I have every sympathy with their concerns" says local Calderdale Cllr Janet Battye (Liberal Democrat, Calder ward). "I've spoken to the Camping and Caravanning Club who have visited the site. I'm really surprised that there's any possibility of this happening. Although it apparently doesn't need planning permission, there may well be Environmental Health concerns about any use being made of this site other than for grazing. People are still suffering the effects of the asbestos works and it's at least insensitive to make such a use of this site.

"There is also the problem of access. It is not sensible to encourage caravans to come up to Old Town, either along Heights Road, or up Birchcliffe Road and trying to get round the corner of Mount Skip, or make the turn at Pecket Bar off the Keighley Road. And access directly on to the site isn't easy either.

"This area is also liable to flood: one of the main serious flooding episodes in 2012 was nearby and local residents report frequent water run-off from the proposed site into neighbouring houses.

"I'm writing to the Camping and Caravanning Club urging them not to go ahead with this. I hope that Calderdale Council and the Parish Council share these views and will take similar action."

Friday, 18 September 2015

Update: from one of the residents at old Automobilia building in Old Town (now known as Moorland View)

Proposed Certified Camp Site No: 104 / 096 at Billy Lane

"Email any comments or objections - ensuring you state the site reference number - 104/096 - to: exemptions@campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk

"All objections must be received by the end of September.

"Thank you for your help. We strongly believe that the campsite should not be allowed to go ahead for all of the reasons Janet cites and more...

"The more local people that object, the more chance we have of stopping the progression of the application so your help is really appreciated. I have not spoken to a single resident, other than the applicant - and I've spoken to a lot of local people - who believes that this land should be permitted to be used in this way."

See also:

HebWeb Feature on Acre Mill - many newcomers to our area may not know about the tragedy of Acre Mill which has been described as the worst industrial accident ever in the UK. This feature tries to give some of the background and story.

HebWeb News: Cape Asbestos, Acre Mill and the risk posed by disturbing buried asbestos - 2009-2010. An application was made to build houses on the site.