Don’t take our ‘green haven’

Allotment holders frustrated at council and developer plans to build an an adoptable highway over the top of their allotment site

Allotment holders frustrated at council and developer plans to build an an adoptable highway over the top of their allotment site

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ALLOTMENT holders have hit out at plans to build a road on their ‘green haven’.

As part of the plans by Genr8 to transform the Copley Valley, 5.3 metres of the Milner Royd allotment site would be taken over by a new road.

The new road, leading through the development, would also see 3.5 metres dug out of the banking to house the road’s foundations.

Although the group rarely cultivate the banking, they say the new road would block the sun getting to their crops.

“We grow all year round and we rely on the winter sun getting through,” said Bruce Fitzgerald, chairman of the allotment committee.

There are worries the building works would unleash toxic dusts, which could affect their crops for years to come.

“They say they will look at providing dust walls but I don’t know if that will do enough,” said Mr Fitzgerald.

The environmental report showed there is asbestos and benzene in the ground nearby.

The green-fingered group asked the developers to look into building into the neighbouring tip instead but they were told it would be too expensive and they would be digging into the unknown.

“We’re on the edge of the old tip so we’re not sure what they’re going to uncover on our side either,” said Mr Fitzgerald.

The 27 allotment holders fear it will damage their green haven for good.

Steve Ellement has held an allotment at the site for four years. “It’d mean the loss of a beautiful green space.

“I’ve spoken to the developers but nothing they’ve said reassures me,” he said.

“It’s going to be a massive upheaval,” said Mr Fitzgerald.

“Whatever they’re going to do is going to cause a massive amount of chaos.”

Genr8 have included an extra plot of 1,000sq m to compensate the allotment holders.

“We’re having to deal with the developers in case they do get planning permission but we don’t want it to happen,” said Mr Fitzgerald.

“People in Sowerby Bridge don’t realise how big the effect will be,”

l What do you think? Should the allotments be left untouched? E-mail us on yoursay@halifaxcourier.co.uk

ruth.mosalski@halifaxcourier.co.uk