Why Calderdale Council will not take ownership of a chimney facing demolition

Halifax town hall
Halifax town hall

A mill chimney from the Calder Valley’s industrial era cannot be saved by a council taking over ownership.

The full meeting of Calderdale Council heard residents had approached their ward councillor, Coun Sarah Courtney (Lab, Calder) to raise the possibility of the authority buying the chimney at the Mytholm Works site in Hebden Bridge to save it from demolition.

She told councillors Setbray, the company which owned the chimney which needed repair, were apparently prepared to send the £20,000 it would cost to demolish it on repairs instead, which would see it through a few decades, if the council would take it on.

“Once done they would be prepared to sell it for a nominal sum,” she said.

Cabinet member for Regeneration and Resources, Coun Jane Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot) said she understood the affection people had for Calderdale’s industrial heritage, it formed part of the borough’s history.

But these could be a liability as well as an asset, with issues of maintenance, security, access and so on, she said.

Coun Scullion recalled an issue in 2009 where demolition of a chimney had cost the council around £250,000, so she could not support the request for all those reasons.

However, she hoped someone would be able to conserve structures like these in the Calder Valley.

Earlier when discussing an agenda item on the bandstand at Centre Vale Park, Todmorden, which the council does own, Coun Scullion had said the authority had to be careful in the financial climate about the number of buildings and structures it was responsible for.