Anger on Halifax estate as it becomes a ‘bulldozer battleground’

Angry residents on the Beech Hill Estate
Angry residents on the Beech Hill Estate

Angry residents have hit out at developers and branded themselves ‘The Forgotten Estate’ as they are faced with ongoing problems where they live.

Building work has begun on two major projects - the demolition of the Beech Hill estate tower blocks and the re-development of nearby Martins Mill - within the space of a few months.

READ: Meet the team who will demolish the Beech Hill tower blocks
Now residents on Richmond Road, Mount Pleasant Avenue and Dene Place are livid that they have nowhere to park.

They claim they have been denied parking permits from the council, but are getting fined for parking where they can, and appeals are being refused. There are 72 houses on the estate, with parking spaces for only around 30 cars.

It is also claimed that bin-men are also refusing to collect their rubbish, leaving bad smells and rodents lingering around.

READ: This is how the Beech Hill tower blocks will be demolished
Caroline Denton, of Mount Pleasant, said: “It’s not fair, the residents here are caged in and treated like prisoners.”

She says builders have been reported to start as early as 4.45am, with the noisy machines disrupting the neighbours’ sleep.

READ: £7 million Halifax mill conversion given the green light

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, Housing and Environment, Councillor Daniel Sutherland, said: “Work is now taking place on behalf of our partner, Together Housing Group to clear phase one of the Beech Hill estate site, including the three tower blocks and a former Calderdale Council highways depot. In addition, in an entirely separate development, a private development company Mandale Group are reconfiguring and refurbishing the formerly derelict Martins Mill.

"In partnership with Together Housing Group, and in consultation with Mandale Group, we’re working hard to minimise disruption while the work is taking place and regularly keeping in touch with residents.

“A newsletter was hand-delivered earlier this month which updates residents on the progress of the Together Housing / Calderdale Council partnership project.

"A number of meetings and drop-in sessions have also been held and more are being scheduled, where residents are invited to raise any concerns with representatives from Together Housing, Calderdale Council and the partnership demolition company, Rhodar.

“The issue with parking was raised at one of these meetings and we’re currently looking at a number of options to improve the situation.

"Arrangements have previously been made with the Crossley Park retail complex by the school to help parents dropping off /collecting children from Beech Hill primary school.

"Traffic enforcement officers are aware of the problem and will be taking appropriate action to encourage motorists to act responsibly once the school reopens after the summer break.

“All Together Housing Group’s construction traffic will continue to park on their site whilst Mandale Group have now arranged for their construction workers to park in the nearby retail car park to mitigate any impact on the highway.

“Careful health and safety restrictions are in place at both sites. This includes Together Housing Group erecting hoarding around phase one to keep the site secure and comply with health and safety law.

"In addition, limits on working hours and measures to control dust and minimise noise will be adhered to on both sites.

"The Health and Safety Executive has visited both sites on a number of occasions and certified that they are content with the safety measures put in place by both Together Housing Group and Mandale Group.

“We have also had assurances from emergency services that they are satisfied and that they are able to access all areas of the estate.

“We apologise for the issues some residents have experienced with missed waste collections. Any outstanding waste has now been collected and arrangements have been made to ensure collections can be made going forward.

“The regeneration of Beech Hill is being carried out in phases. The second phase of the development is now being planned and will encompass the remaining elements of the wider Beech Hill boundary.

"In the coming months the Council will be working with residents and other stakeholders to look at options for revitalising the wider Beech Hill estate.

“We’re confident that the new homes and other improvements will bring a real boost for the community.”