Contaminated land fears stoke up concern in the Copley valley

New road and bridges handed over to the council as phase one of the Copley Development is completed'Pictured is Calder river and 'The Hub'
New road and bridges handed over to the council as phase one of the Copley Development is completed'Pictured is Calder river and 'The Hub'
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THE council appears indifferent to concerns about pollution in the Copley valley, according to some residents.

Freedom of Information requests show that the authority is unaware at this stage whether contaminated soil or aggregate might have been moved to build a new access road.

Officers won’t know whether developers are correctly applying pollution control techniques on the council-owned land until a detailed report on the effectiveness of the work is published after it is completed.

It is nearly a year since Calderdale Council gave the goahead for its partner, GenR8 to develop the Sterne Mill site at Copley.

Work began in August and residents say they have been plagued by dust settling on cars, a closed towpath and delays as traffic lights have been installed on Wakefield Road to service new housing and industry.

Copley Valley Environment Protection Group has been told by the council that it has no idea of the quantity of materials introduced or removed from the site, said spokesman Steve Ainsworth.

“The council’s own reports confirm that much of the land is polluted and it is shocking that it appears to be so extraordinarily uninterested in whether disturbing the land is harming residents,” he said.

The council’s economy and environment director, Ian Gray, said: “We have requested a report by the developer to demonstrate the effectiveness of the remediation work and as landowner, the council is also monitoring the work daily. In addition, the developer/principal contractor is in contact with the Environment Agency, which is completely in line with the normal development process.”

The new bridge over the Calder and Hebble Canal and the River Calder will eventually carry traffic from Wakefield Road, past new houses and workshops to Milner Royd, Sowerby Bridge.