A proposal to build an eco home near to the site of a former asbestos factory is facing continued opposition from a local action group. The proposal to build a three bedroom house on a car park which is situated across the road from the site of Acre Mill where the former Cape Asbestos factory was in operation.
An action group was formed in opposition to the proposed eco home that was proposed by Lyn and Christine Gledhill due to concerns that commencement of building work would disturb asbestos fibres in the ground which could be released into the air and a nearby water course. Mr Gledhill, managing director of Beer Gas Express, commented previously that he was confident there is no risk of asbestos contamination if the proposal to build on the site was granted.
The Legacy of Acre Mill Group put together a convincing case with the help of Manchester Metropolitan University researcher, Jason Addy, which included video clips and footage from YouTube showing a short film and documentary excerpts that were filmed in Acre Mill, including ‘Alice: Fight for Life’ which documented a lady who worked at the mill and ended up suffering from the asbestos cancer, mesothelioma. Addy commented:
“Exposing this site and disturbing it with mechanical machinery could release significant amounts of respirable asbestos fibre. This site must never be forgotten for the damage it has already done to so many in the area. It is prudent and respectful to let it rest in peace.
“Concerned members of the community are desperate to demonstrate that disturbing a known asbestos dump to build a family home could have catastrophic consequences.”
The council maintains that permission to build the sustainable home at Acre Mill is not based on the suspected dumping of asbestos fibre around the area, although the case presented by Jason Addy includes signed statements from neighbours and a former employee at the factory that saw the asbestos waste being dumped in the 1960s. Peter Melhuish from the planning services department of Calderdale Council advised that the main reason for the rejection was due to the proposal being for development of greenbelt land.