Gardeners hit out over bypass work

Plot-holders at Milner Royd allotments unhappy about actions of the Copley developers. from the left, Andrew Smith, Rudy Holmes, Hayley Taylor and Charlotte West.
Plot-holders at Milner Royd allotments unhappy about actions of the Copley developers. from the left, Andrew Smith, Rudy Holmes, Hayley Taylor and Charlotte West.
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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.

Damaged property at Milner Royd allotments

Damaged property at Milner Royd allotments

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

Andrew Smith, secretary of the Milner Royd Allotment Association, said: “My personal property had been destroyed with no warning. My shed has been destroyed. It should have been moved and will now need to be replaced.

“My fence has been destroyed and thrown into my allotment causing damage and an unsafe environment in which to use my allotment.”

He also claimed that planters, flagstones and raised beds had been smashed, a gate was left damaged and a digger had been near his beehives.

Concerns have also been raised about scheduled piling work which will prohibit use of the allotment between 7.30am and 5.30pm.

In response to the queries, Calderdale Council has agreed to reduce the site rental by 50 per cent for 2015, but Mr Smith believes this doesn’t go far enough.

Ian Gray, Calderdale Council’s director of economy and environment, said the development is being delivered in line with the planning permission and the council and contractors are providing the allotment association with regular updates about the project.

During the work it has been necessary to set up a temporary working area for the contractors but the new road does not encrorach onto the allotments’ lease boundary, he added.

A Buckingham Group spokesman said: “We are working in compliance of the terms of our contract and with the local authorities.

“We have gone out out of our way to engage with the allotment association and their members.”