Littleborough Canalside Development Group Prize Winning Site

Meeting on 11th August 2011 re Akzo Nobel Site


Meeting at United Reform Church, Littleborough on 11 August 2011.

Subject: Proposed development at the Akzo Nobel site by Countryside Properties.

Present: Mr JF Kay of LCDG (chairman), Mrs Jane Aspinall (Associate Director, Planning), Mr J Jones (Regional Design Director), both of Countryside Properties, Mr M Robinson (Development Manager) of RMBC, the three councillors who represent Littleborough Lakeside, members of LCDG, Civic Trust, Friends of Hollingworth Lake, Friends of Hare Hill Park, residents of Smithy Bridge and Littleborough.

1. Mrs Aspinall explained that CP had aquired the site in June this year from Woodford who had in their outline application included for 164 houses (including 10 affordable dwellings) a Hotel / Pub / Restaurant and space for commercial development on a small scale. Woodford had found there was no demand for the latter items and consequently CP were proposing the development should be residential.

This would mean 174 houses (including 10 affordable dwellings). The houses would be split approximately 25% 3 beds and 75% 4 beds. Also on the site there would be an equipped children’s play area, potential events area / amenity and overspill parking.
King Sturge, who had acted for Woodford, had been retained as CP’s agent.
The subject of the Island site, Farfield and the area adjacent to the original site entrance was raised. Concern was expressed that these areas would be used as a land swap in the 106 payments. The meeting was assured this would not be the case; the 106 would be a stand alone amount.

2. Mr Jones explained the site using plans already prepared. He explained the materials would be crushed stone, reconstituted and natural. The drainage system would be natural, designed by their experts.
Concern was expressed about the risk of contamination. It was pointed out during test drilling on what was the scheduled hotel site the operative had been affected by escaping gas. The meeting was advised a company, Encia were carrying out a check on that area.

3. Numerous questions were asked regarding traffic and Mrs Aspinall advised the information they had indicated the traffic was less than it was 6 years ago. However an assessment will have to be done.

It was stated the signage to the car parks was inadequate. The meeting was advised at a Pennines Township meeting earlier this year it had been stated Impact were preparing new signs and Highways had been instructed to make Lake Bank road no waiting. They had promised to do the latter by September.

Grave concern was expressed about the risk of contamination in the initial stages and in a few years down the line. The remediation of the site should be guaranteed.
There should be Gas protection under each house.

The plan showed trees, the meeting was advised they will be chosen to suit and landscaping done, neither to effect any remediation.

It was pointed out the indications were there would not be adequate facilities covering education, dental and medical in the area.

Concern was expressed that the total depth under the houses and the materials used were not adequate.

Also as far as investigations done locally it appeared no one knew where the mine galleries were, the routes of the water flowing across the site and a remediation guarantee should be given.

It was pointed out another site in Rochdale had not been granted a planning application due to asbestos contamination.

It was a known fact the Island site was contaminated and it was felt a guarantee should be provided to confirm it will affect not the main site.

It was commented that as RMBC were having difficult in finding land for a cemetery then perhaps this site could be suitable.

It was confirmed the Littleborough Town Design Statement, which had been adopted by the UDP will be taken into consideration.

4. Mr Robinson was asked numerous questions particular relating to contamination, traffic and how would the monies from the 106 be spent.

He assured the meeting details would be required concerning anti-contamination, site drainage, traffic assessment; all would be considered at the time the planning application was submitted. Other council departments, eg. Highways would be involved.

The Island site would be treated as separate issue.

Monies from the 106 would be used in Littleborough and RMBC would consult with residents as to how they wished such monies to be spent.

No decision had been made regarding the Developers request for a Screening application as to whether a full environmental assessment report is required for the whole site as opposed only to the part originally scheduled for the commercial projects.

5. As the main concern is contamination it can be summarised by a suggestion made that the site should be cleared completely to ensure this is eradicated.

6. Following the closure of the meeting some attendees spoke to the presenters with various queries and showed documentation relating to the site.

Contact Information

Littleborough Canalside Development Group

Bent House Cottage
Halifax Road
OL15 0JB

Tel: 01706 376775

Meeting times

Meetings are normally held on the third Tuesday each month starting at 7.30pm

The group is now meeting at 

Hare Hill House, Hare Hill Park Littleborough OL15 9HF