There is growing disquiet in Old Town and Wadsworth at the prospect of the old Acre Mill asbestos factory site being used as a small caravan and campsite. The owner of part of the site, opposite the old “Automobilia” car museum, now converted into houses, has applied to the Camping and Caravanning Club for it to become a certificated “small” site for up to 5 caravans and 10 tents, with basic services such as a water supply and facilities for disposing of waste from chemical toilets.
“I have every sympathy with their concerns” says local Calderdale Councillor Janet Battye (Liberal Democrat, Calder ward) “I’ve spoken to the Camping and Caravanning Club who have visited the site. I’m really surprised that there’s any possibility of this happening. Although it apparently doesn’t need planning permission, there may well be Environmental Health concerns about any use being made of this site other than for grazing. People are still suffering the effects of the asbestos works and it’s at least insensitive to make such a use of this site.
“There is also the problem of access. It is not sensible to encourage caravans to come up to Old Town, either along Heights Road, or up Birchcliffe Road and trying to get round the corner of Mount Skip, or make the turn at Pecket Bar off the Keighley Road. And access directly onto the site isn’t easy either.
“This area is also liable to flood: one of the main serious flooding episodes in 2012 was nearby and local residents report frequent water run-off from the proposed site into neighbouring houses.
“I’m writing to the Camping and Caravanning Club urging them not to go ahead with this. I hope that Calderdale Council and the Parish Council share these views and will take similar action”
– Councillor Janet Battye