Anger grows over allotment row

Secretary of Milner Royd Allotments Andrew Smith, right, with allotment holders where the pond with newts and frogs used to be.
Secretary of Milner Royd Allotments Andrew Smith, right, with allotment holders where the pond with newts and frogs used to be.
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An angry allotment association has hit out against the actions of developers working on a neighbouring bypass.

Work is currently underway on the Sowerby Bridge relief road as part of the controversial multi-million pound Copley Valley regeneration scheme.

But the route is next to Milner Royd allotments and concerned plot holders have accused construction company Buckingham Group of riding roughshod over their site.

The group first hit out at the developers in April and say further damage has been caused to their property and their concerns have not been addressed by Calderdale Council. But the council said that it has liaised with the allotment society throughout the works and has responded to queries raised as quickly as possible.

Andrew Smith, secretary of Milner Royd Allotment Association, said: “None of our personal private property has been replaced like for like. More damage to our property has been caused.

“We have not been given replacement allotment land we were promised on March 15 and our site has been contaminated by soil from the old landfill and industrial land.”

In response, Mark Thomson, Calderdale Council’s acting director of economy and environment, said the allotment society has been granted a rent free year for 2015 in acknowledgement of the work. He also said an ecologist assessed the land prior to work and although some of the work has caused some environmental impact, the contractor has committed to reinstating the area following the works, Mr Thomson added the council will continue to ensure the work is managed properly. A spokesperson from the Buckingham Group said it supports the council’s response.