Steep Fields Messages


Messages posted from 22nd October

More messages

From Lynn Breeze
Friday, October 22, 2004

So Brownbottoms have spent thousands of pounds on security and chainsaws? And they claim we used language and spittle and piss? If only that were true then we would certainly have won the "Greener Than Thou" awards!

From Jim Metcalf, Calderdale Chief Planning Officer
Friday, October 22, 2004

This is from a reply to Cllr Michael Taylor, dated 20th October

The site is as 'Open Space in the Urban Area - Amenity Land' in the adopted UDP. And this designation is followed through into the Revised UDP currently going through the system.

In the adopted plan policy N19 is relevant. This seeks to protect land which makes a major contribution to public amenity because of their open space character and function. It also says development will normally be allowed if there is no harm to views and vistas, landscape and ecology and recreational use. ( I summarise) . This would be the basis of appraising any development proposal.

In addition PPG3 seeks to protect 'Greenfield' land including sites that have been subject of natural regeneration. This approach is carried forward into the more restrictive policies in the Revised UDP and in particular in Policy OS1 therein. However this has little weight at the moment as there are outstanding objections to be heard at the forthcoming inquiry.

From Susannah Harris
Friday, October 22, 2004

I have received some helpful emails on this

First is from my sister, a PR consultant in Bristol who successfully saved a small local woodland from development a few years ago:

Susi - I presume you have got the media involved with this, you need to go and see them and present your evidence and next time the developers turn up on site, call them straight away (on their mobiles) and take video footage of what is happening they should be broadcast as well as print journalists.

You need to continue to kick up a real stink and write to all the Council Members on the planning committee before the developer submits an application explaining what they have done.

You also need to get evidence of the wildlife on the site - photographs of birds, nests, droppings, etc

If you want to make the developer really uncomfortable, go to his office in Todmorden and demonstrate in front of it - get the media to come along

* * *

Next is from a former Hebden Bridge resident who has emigrated to Spain:

Hi, its really despicable and typical of Calderdale

...just to share briefly with you, we went through a similar thing on Blackshaw Head.. through the Parish Council. Calderdale Council were unsympathetic & their in-house solicitors were downright agressive to us. Only 2 local Councillors were sympathetic...the guy at the Bacup Rd Planet Earth Centre who knows a bit about Enviromental Impact Assessments is very supportive.

Only other thing that seems to make them listen is bad publicity...

When I worked for Leeds, the second largest L.A. in UK, it was the same..but the quickest resolution of any community conflict came about when this brilliant group BURNED AN EFFIGY of the Council Leader amongst the treees in question.....the press loved it, heads rolled and a reasonable outcome ensued.

* * *

The third is from a (now retired) hebden royd councillor:

Hi Susi,

Thanks for the email about the trees.

It is not a surprise that it is Mark Clines behind it. This is not the only 'funny deal' he has been involved in. It is one of many.

It took the Hebden council nearly 8 years to save Mayroyd from his developement ideas.

Get as much info as you can and be prepared for a fight because he knows every trick in the book.

* * *

In view of all the above I would love to see a big group go and demonstrate dressed as trees (and maybe some chainsaw wielders for dramatic effect?) with the press properly forewarned of course!!

From Gill Barron
Sunday, October 24, 2004

Development aka destruction

Oh eck not a yet another blotch of destruction on the skin of England- they are all joining up into a very nasty national skin disease. Ironic that these "developers" call themselves "Greentops" when, seen from above, their work is turning green places into permanently brown ones. Brownbums would seem a lot more accurate.

It's also yet another example of language abuse- using words to mean their opposite. Here "development" means the increase of the wealth of a very few, at the cost, and loss of the well-being of everyone else. What "development" develops is ill-th, not wealth. (I nicked that from J. Ruskin)

But perhaps "Greentops"'s plans will end in tears. Access to the land could be made very difficult.....When things get difficult they also get expensive. They are in this to make a profit, so if you can evaporate the profits before the big spending on construction begins, they probably won't bother. Meanwhile, fallen trees can be regenerating (as they will) and you could end up with some splendid community coppice in a few years' time. I hope so.

Chin up chaps.

If you can't do anything else you can always be a nuisance!

From Andrew Hall
Sunday, October 24, 2004

The battle for the millpond has now escalated into something much more far reaching.

This is now not just about an abandoned silted up millpond, it's about the needs and aspirations of a community.

It's about people who live in, and love, a very special part of the Calder Valley. And it's about unscrupulous people whose sole intent is to make money.

It's about people who genuinely care for the area, and others who profess to being oh-so concerned about the environment that they are prepared to cut down trees that are subject to a tree preservation order, and intimidate residents with security guards.

There's good news and bad news on this front.

The bad news is that there are always going to be the Clyndes's of this world who will use every devious trick in the book to get their way, and who will ignore the feelings and wishes of the community. Such people only deserve out utmost contempt. We all need to be on our guard to prevent them from ruining our environment.

The good news is that this development won't go ahead. This battle has gone too far for that. We are not now talking about the few people whose houses surround the site, we are talking about anyone and everyone who loves, lives in, and treasures Hebden Bridge. And thats quite a force.

What happens at the millpond today, could well happen next to you. Are you really prepared to let developers wreck Hebden Bridge purely in the interest of profit? Make no mistake about it - they want to make money, lots of it, at your and my expense.

If ever there was a time for a community to stand united against the onslaught of unscrupulous and greedy developers, this is it. There is a petition circulating round pubs and clubs in town. Please sign it, and /or write to your Hebden Royd or Calderdale Councillor. There's much at stake here.

From Annie Conboy of Windsor Road
Monday, October 25, 2004

I've been very busy this week after the fiasco I witnessed orchestrated by Mark Clynes and the mystery company "Green Tops Ltd". One of the things I did was to visit 41 Knowlwood Rd, Todmorden - the local address for the company supplied to Hebden Royd councillors.

This desirable end terrace stone property is being tastefully renovated to exacting standards by ???? The property benefits from a steep hillside to the rear thus ruling out any possibility of future housing developments (I bet!!) and benefits from easy access to Todmorden town centre and rail links to Manchester or Leeds.The site is also served by a local junior and infant school, good bus services and off road parking for one vehicle. Unfortunately I cannot describe the interior of the property as the workwomen would only speak to me through the brand new double glazed windows and seemed loath to discuss Green Tops or any other potential owners.

I decided a trip to the library to check the Electoral Register for the property would be good but sadly, no-one has bothered to register to vote from that property. Mind you, since Green Tops Ltd seems determined to act illegaly every step of the way there's no surprise there!

I wonder if Green Tops is actually in the property business and is hoping to drive residents out of Windsor Rd/View/Place or Spring Grove? That must be it because when our houses slide into one another we'll all need new places to live!!!!

Ever hopeful that someone will realise Green Tops Ltd doesn't really exist (after all even a legal entity like a company does need human officers and directors and Green Tops seems a bit short on humans) and waiting for it's eventual liquidation!

From Fran of the Mytholmroyd Net
Monday, October 25, 2004

Can we have some copies of the petition for distribution here in Mytholmroyd please? We are similarly battling to save the cricket field at Scout Road, Mytholmroyd from development. Fortunately nothing as drastic has happened as in Hebden Bridge, though the cricket pavillion did burn down during the small hours a couple of weeks ago.

Fran, we will arrange for this to be sent to you - webmaster

From Mark O'Leary
Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The 'new habitat'

Greentops has published a laudable aim: "The [refurbished] pond will add to the biodiversity of the area". This is a straightforward statement not open to misinterpretation, and the truth of which is contingent upon the data upon which it is based. To predict any change to biodiversity, favourable or unfavourable, the current status must be known in detail.

An in-depth ecological survey of the proposed site must, therefore, have been commissioned (presumably from independent experts, as is best practice). To make such a statement in the absence of such a survey would be a simple lie. Obviously, such work would be a paid undertaking and so the local residents don't have an immediate right to be told the results of it (they are after all free to pay for their own assessment if they can agree access), but I would suggest that as a minimum it is incumbent upon Greentops to disclose the company that undertook the survey for them so that their credentials can be independently verified.

Since we know that Greentops has been happy to name their arboriculturalist and highlight his standing in his field, they surely have the same pride in their ecologists (it is worth noting that arboriculture and nature conservation often have diametrically opposed aims).

Were Greentops unable to point towards such a study, we could only conclude that the ecological credentials of the project are in fact the scientific-sounding but empty claims of a cowboy developer. I sincerely hope that this is not the case.

However, I do have some cause to doubt. Much issue is made of the trees at risk. Some are referred to as "weed species", "unhealthy", "struggling" and the like. A truly diverse ecosystem must contain not only so-called 'healthy' specimens, but also weaker trees in sub-optimal habitats, and dead wood, both standing and fallen.

Fungal and insectival species require dead and dying wood, and although being far less glamorous than bluebells and ducks, are far greater contributors to biodiversity in their own variety and in the food pyramid they support.

The entire tone of Greentops output paints a picture of a post-development 'natural' environment that is tidy, manicured and attractive.

Real wild spaces, particularly wetlands, by contrast have something of the "dank and foetid" about them (as one poster put it, with negative connotations). The "20 years of neglect" which will be addressed by "managing" the tree stocks is exactly what gives this area its current biological value.

I'm greatly afraid that from an ecological perspective, the description of the 'restored' millpond sounds rather more like a boating lake in a municipal park than a wild environment. Far from an ecological salvage operation of a brownfield site only incidentally financed by a property development, which appears to be the spin being put on the project by Greentops, I fear that the end result will be an ersatz wilderness, far more beautfully landscaped than the real thing, but under the surface something of a green desert.

Once again, publication of details of the current species diversity and habitat survey that greentops must (surely?) have commissioned before commencing planning would go a long way to alleviate these fears. If on the other hand this is a project aimed at providing housing and making money (and these don't look like the first time buyer homes that the area really needs), and the habitat-preservation trappings are a bolt-on to get round planning regulations and local concerns, then I suspect that the company will feel unable (privacy? commerical sensitivity? the alleged 'violence' of the locals?) to provide any details of which company did the scientific work for them and what their mandate was.

From Steve Wilinsky of Windsor Road
Tuesday, October 26, 2004

I don't think any one will be surprised when the discredited Green Tops folds after flattening the land and sells to one of our more 'respected' developers such as Phil "I'm not Green Tops" Bradby of Mango Developments fame.

From Fran of the Mytholmroyd Net
Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Community action saves Scout Road Cricket Ground

Community action paid off again and The Scout Road Community Group will shortly be the owners of Scout Road Park thanks to a deal with Mytholmroyd Methodist church to save the playing field and children's playground from any future development.

Full Press Release now on the Mytholmroyd website.

Scout Road today. Mill Pond tomorrow!

Good luck from Mytholmroyd.

From Matt Hardie
Friday, October 29, 2004

Where are the councillors?

I have been reading these while away on work.

What I would like to ask is where are all the councillors.

They promise us everything when they want to stand for election but when it comes to speaking up on behalf of the community they have been elected to represent where are they?

Come on councillors. It's not hard. People have been assaulted, hired thugs brought in, the police turned a blind eye, protected trees have been felled, a wildlife haven has been destroyed and a whole community has been traumatised.

Surely now, of all times, is the time to speak out, to let your electors know you care, and that you passionately oppose what has happened.

From Ravinda Khan
Saturday, October 30, 2004

Calderdale Council is responsible

Matt , you are correct. Calderdale Council has for a long time been accepting and proccessing dubious planning applications. The next demonstration should be at the Council and a request for greater transparency as to who is exactly passing these applications against the wishes of the overall comunity?, why the are allowing it happening and who are the financial beneficiaries of such actions. I think the answers would be quite revealing.

From Steve Wilinsky of Windsor Road
Monday, November 1, 2004

Well I was all ready to write a long letter correcting some of the misinformation mark Clyndes was distributing in his letter to the council, but then something happened this weekend that changed my mind.

One of the reasons I like living in Hebden Bridge is because people help each other and care about each other. Nothing could show this more than when people get together to help out a friend in need. I would like to single out two people who seem to go above and beyond the call of duty in their attempts to help a friend in need. I am speaking of none other than Phil Bradby of Mango Developments fame and Mark Clyndes of many varied and interesting (fill in your own word).

These two upstanding members of the community have sacrificed their time and in one case his reputation in order to help a poor friend Richard Broome who somehow ended up buying a piece of land which has a big problem.

To be specific this piece of land has 3 boundary walls. These walls are, according to Green Tops, in imminent danger of collapse and according to green tops will cost between £100,000 and £200,000 or in excess of £300,000 (depending on which green tops mailing list you are on). Unfortunately poor Richard obviously didn't read his survey report because he doesn't have the money to fix the wall.

Hearing of Richard's problem these two friends have pulled out all the stops and enlisted the help of everybody they know in Hebden Bridge to try and come up with a solution. This solution appears to be blackmail.

"The fact is however we do not have 250,000 to spend on the walls. The only way this sort of money can be raised is if our proposal gains planning consent. No landowner can afford to spend that sort of money on what would without planning consent be a worthless site. That is one of the reasons why we feel that local residents may be shooting themselves in the foot if they continue to oppose this scheme. Without planning consent and access the walls cannot be fully and properly repaired. "

This is an excerpt from an email sent to me by Green Tops. The 'threat' seems fairly clear: give us our houses or else.

But that's for another email. I'm more interested in our two upstanding citizens. Here we have two people, so worried for their friend that they help him set up a company who's only asset is the land. They even let him use the address of a piece of land they have an option on (but don't own) as his address for companies house. Phil, as a lawyer, can you confirm that this is legal?

But of the two I think Phil deserves my respect most. While Mark is out there, making his face seen and taking personal credit for helping a friend in need, Phil sits in the background and avoids taking the credit. You could almost say he was hiding. To avoid taking the credit he justly deserves, he was willing to go so far as to threaten taking liable action against the Hebden Bridge Web for suggesting he had anything to do with Green Tops. At the same time he was having almost daily conversations with the council and helping with the arrangements for the removal of trees.

Now that's what I call a friend.

From Liz Anstee
Monday, November 1, 2004


I couldn't agree more with previous correspondents re the presence and involvement (or conspicuous absence) of councillors in our local disagreements with our greedy developers.

Apart from the presence of Nadir Fekri and Patrick Phillips on Saturday at the demonstration where were they these people we used our votes to elect?

From Knittedtops aka Lyn Breeze
Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Hi Squidgytops

What a great joke! First you are going to chop down all the trees and destroy the site (boo! hiss! ) Then you're going to restore the site (hooray!) Then, without an access, you're going to make 15 parking spaces too tight to get out of anyway (boo! hiss!) Then you'll build prison-sheds with solar panels (hooray!) Then you'll plant a row of trees in front so the solar panels won't get any sun (boo! hiss!) Then, in the winter, when there are no leaves (and no sun) you can look straight into the bedrooms of Spring Grove if there's nothing on telly (hooray!) What a wonderful imaginative sense of humour you have... a joke like this will surely win awards!

Yours ever,

Knittedtops x

ps: The best bit is the "restored" millpond reality it would be a shallow, muddy, midgy one but, in your cartoon, you manage to make it look like a Deep Blue One ! x

Cllr. John Beacroft-Mitchell, (Cragg Vale Ward, Hebden Royd Town Council)
Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Community Action

Having attended the march and protest on Saturday I would like to share with you my thoughts from further down the valley.

I am involved, as a Hebden Royd council representative and local resident, in the Scout Road Community Group which as I write is finalising the contract for the community purchase of the cricket pitch and playground on Scout Road, Mytholmroyd.

In the early days of discussions between the Methodist Church and the community, emotions were running high and positions were very much entrenched.

This state of affairs was turned around by a series of private meetings between individual representatives of the church management and the newly formed community group. Due in part to these talks and a continuing public campaign, an extension to the tender period was granted which allowed the group time to raise the money required and buy the land.

I understand that the situation with the Mill Pond is rather different from that of Scout Road but I think now is the time that a couple of representatives of the residents took up Cllr. Michael Taylor's offer of a mediation between yourselves and representatives of GreenTops.

This doesn't have to mean that the protests should come to an end. In fact I would support the positive face of the campaigning which I witnessed on Saturday. Peaceful public protest can only serve to help raise the profile of the residents' cause which in turn should encourage GreenTops to be responsive to an approach from the group.

All the best

Cllr. JohnBM

From Elaine Connell of Windsor Road
Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Meeting Green Tops

Cllr. John Beacroft-Mitchell,

We have been trying to find out all this year who this Green Tops are so that we can meet them and make our representations. Michael Taylor wrote to me on 18th October: "I think a meeting between all involved could clear the air and enable sensible discussions to take place." The next day their "sensible discussions" arrived in form of dozens of loggers with hired security guards.

Nevertheless, many of the residents remain keen to meet with Green Tops, whoever they are. It's not hard. They know where we are.

From Nic Etherinton of Fountain Street
Saturday, November 6, 2004

How can a development whichİproposes two car parking spaces per house, possibly claim to be 'eco'?

The motivation behind this project, like every other scheme put forward by property developers in Hebden Bridge so far,İis blatantly financial. These greedy and powerful individuals, together with the prospectors who follow on their heals, are responsible for trashing this town forever. The council too, in future years, will be shown to have playedİits part inİthe destruction, for being shortsighted, reactive, incompetentİand yes, greedy.

For the rest of us, it is our duty, to the best of our ability, to challenge them every step of the way. Indifference and inertia will ensure they succeed. They must be stopped, and the issue of the millpond concerns us all, way beyond those who live in the immediate vicinity of the land in question.

I live adjacent to a similar development elsewhere in Hebden Bridge, and would like to offer my full support to those living nearby the millpond.

From Aaron
Monday, November 8, 2004

Don't let them back...

Having been absent from Hebden Bridge for the last couple of years, it saddens me deeply that this company (Green Tops, Brown Arse, call it what you will) believes it can ride roughshod over the local community and the very land they claim to want to conserve.

We have in the past dealt with similar overbearing developers though previously the development was due to be carried out on the Delph (for those of you who are unaware, this is the piece of land overlooking the front of Windsor Road).

I would ask the developers to take note of the current state of this piece of land (namely undeveloped) and perhaps to ask the former owners how much money they made before they finally sold it on. I would then ask them to consider that those attempting (unsuccessfully) to develop the Delph had public access to it.

It seems to me that in order to stop this development in its tracks all the residents of Windsor Road/View have to do is to install a gate on the road denying access to these sneak thieves in the night.

Furthermore I would like to ask the developers why they have not responded to messages posted here since their despicable attack on the millpond and the people trying to protect it.

Finally I would like to take issue with what they refer to as a site in a very poor state having been neglected for at least 20 years used for tipping for many years littered with domestic appliances, refuse and garden waste. Which, by the way, I remember as being in a beautiful wild state, perfect for dog walking, for playing on as a child or for enjoying watching the local flora , fauna, and birds. As to it being neglected, there has for many years been an annual (sometimes bi-annual) drive to clean up the area by local kids and their parents (an exercise that was the beginning of many local children s interest in environmental issues).

I look forward to a response or (lack of it) from green tops and would like to offer my support to those in the local area willing to protect our heritage for future generations rather than trying to make a quick buck by means fair or foul with no consideration of the position the Mill Pond holds for the local community.

From Mark Piggott
Friday, November 12, 2004

Tell Mark what you saw

Hi, this is Mark Piggott, formerly of Hebden, now a writer and journalist in London. I've been asked by one of the broadsheets to write something about the whole Mill Pond controversy, and would be very grateful for any eye-witness accounts, background information etc. If anyone wants to contact me I'd be most grateful.

From Elaine Connell of Windsor Road
Saturday, November 20, 2004

Anonymous Green Tops

"Green Tops is not and never has been anonymous," wrote Richard Broome, the only named director of this company in the HB Times last week.(12 Nov)

I feel uneasy at the fact that he did not give any explanations as to why his organisation is listed in Companies House at a non-existent address in Cornwall, nor why he has refused to meet with the residents of the area which has been and is going to be so affected by his proposed housing development. A couple of weeks ago in an attempt to meet with Mr. Broome, one of my neighbours visited the address he gave when he wrote to the Hebden Bridge Times last week. She discovered that the house was empty and in the process of being renovated by builders who seemed to be unaware of Mr. Broome's name.

A resident of Spring Grove wrote to Green Tops at its registered address in York Place, Leeds to complain about photographs of her back garden (taken without her permission) being used in the company's information brochure about the Mill Pond development. Only last week she received the letter back unopened and with a Royal Mail label on it saying that the addressee had: "Gone away."

All of Green Tops activities in this area have so far been publicly fronted by Mark Clyndes. Another local businessman, Phil Bradby of Mango Developments, has apparently conducted dealings with Calderdale Council.

Mr. Broome, in spite of being the director of the company, has so far behaved like the invisible man operating as he does from non-existent, unoccupied and accommodation addresses from which mail is returned unanswered.

How much more anonymous can Green Tops be? There is only one person who is directly associated with the company, none of us in this area of town has ever met him and all attempts to contact the registered and contact addresses have proved fruitless. Can anyone be surprised that the residents of this part of the town are fearful about what the future holds for both the area and our homes?

From Graham Barker of Spring Grove
Thursday, November 25, 2004

Dear Cllr Fekri

I've read your email of 21 November to Chris Ratcliffe and am concerned that you may be misinformed about the state of the retaining walls and their significance in the whole dreadful Greentops saga.

I can only speak with certainty about the Spring Grove retaining wall, but I'm sure that my main point - that the retaining walls are absolutely fine if left undisturbed - will also be made by Windsow View residents.

As far as the Spring Grove retaining wall goes, there is no problem with it whatsoever. I've lived here for 15 years - since the Spring Grove houses were built - and have never experienced any problems with the wall, which is more accurately a series of very solid interconnecting walls and buttresses. There has never been the slightest hint of anything wrong with it - nothing has ever fallen off, fallen down, cracked, slipped, subsided or in any other way given cause for anxiety. I've spoken to the only three neighbours who have also lived below the wall since the houses were built, and they too know of no problems over a 15-year period. In short, the wall is fine and will probably stay fine indefinitely if left alone.

I'm well aware that Greentops say the wall is fragile and in urgent need of repair, but this is simply a lie - among many others - to justify their attempts to get access to the land and start preparing it for building in the absence of any planning permission.

I'm also aware that Greentops were asked by one Spring Grove householder to remove an overhanging tree, but this is a complete red herring. The tree had nothing to do with the wall, and there isn't even any of the original retaining wall at that point. (I understand that Greentops have in any case not finished the removal job, which must say something about their interpretation of the word 'urgent'.)

Having said that, it would be an entirely different ball game if Greentops got their way and started knocking things about (cf Mark Clyndes causing a landslip and significant structural damage to at least one house on Heptonstall Road, and simply washing his hands of any responsibility for it). Retaining walls, houses and doubtless whatever is left of the greenery on the Millpond would be at risk if Clyndes and his associates were given free rein.

The real crux of the Millpond affair is not the existing state of walls; it is the potentially dangerous, entirely profit-driven construction practices of an unscrupulous, bullying and mendacious developer with an appalling past record who now wants to build on an entirely inappropriate site.

I trust this has clarified a few points, and has at the very least made you aware of my own feelings. I hope the information will be of use to you in your efforts on our behalf.

Message from poet John Siddique on Hebweb Discussion Forum
Friday, November 26, 2004

From Janice
Saturday, December 4, 2004

£100,000 fine for tree damage

The BBC website reports that Barratts Bristol have been fined nearly £100,000 for damaging 11 trees which were subject to Tree Preservation Orders. None of the trees were felled, but their roots were damaged. I hope Greentops and other developers take note!

From Rod Gibson and Angie Wright
Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Further to a recent letter in the Hebden Bridge Times, we are contacting the Hebden Bridge Web to confirm that the comments attributed to anonymous residents of Windsor View in Francesca Turner's report of November 19th did originate from us. Though not verbatim quotes, the comments as printed do accurately reflect our views.

We asked not to be named in order to avoid any repeats of the vandalism that has been directed towards our house, and the anti-social behaviour that has been displayed by some of the protestors. We have now moved out of our property on Windsor View, and will be remaining at a safe distance until the furore generated by the protestors has died down and some more sensible and sober strategies have been adopted.

In the interests of the fair and balanced reporting you purport to uphold on the Hebden Bridge web site, I hope you will publish this item.

Perhaps it is still not too late for the protestors to take note of the conditions of Windsor View and the retaining wall, and begin to conduct their campaign in a more sensible and open-minded fashion.

From Elaine Connell
Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Elaine Connell, Windsor Road, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.

In her article "There's trouble at t'Mill Pond" (November 27 ) Sharon Dale writes about the developers' surprise about the resistance that has built up over the past year in Hebden Bridge to the proposed "eco" housing development on the former Foster Lane Mill millpond site. Like many people who live in Hebden Bridge, I would welcome the building of ecological houses (preferably more attractive than the ones on stilts as shown in your illustration) providing they are to be built on suitable sites.

A measure of just how green this proposed development is can be seen in the fact that neither the Green Party nor Friends of the Earth agree with the use of this particular piece of land for eco housing by Green Tops.

The site must be one of the most unsuitable plots of land a property developer has ever acquired for use as a housing development.

The residents' group opposing this project has been advised by a civil engineer/geologist that the only possible way for houses to be constructed on it would be by the use of pile drivers. Two houses on the bottom of the Windsor Road/ Windsor View terrace had to be underpinned some years ago when the houses on what became Spring Grove were built. By comparison, that development was a fairly straightforward proposition.

The owners of the two houses concerned now have real fears that any future building work might well affect the foundations of their homes, as may any future traffic using the access road to be built to the site.

The vast majority of residents on the Windsor Road/Windsor View terrace share their fears.

The people living in this area of Hebden Bridge feel as if we have been attacked.

Not only was our woodland wantonly destroyed but also many of us are worried sick about the possibility that this ill-thought out scheme could damage the structural stability of the entire hillside.

From Kevin Crum of Windsor View
Friday, December 10, 2004

Response to posting from Rod Gibson

I am sure I am not alone in feeling some concern about the content of your posting. It is sad that you feel this way and that you choose to move away until you feel like coming back.

I do however think that, as is often usual. the situation you find yourself in is one that arises from misunderstanding allowed to develop without being addressed. And is also partly of your own making.

Since you are coming out, out of your anonymity that has been pretty transparent in any case would you indicate please if your concerns were among the anonymous representations that councillor Fekri was making at the TPO meeting in September. This may be helpful to him and help to clear up some of the misunderstanding that has occurred.

I think if you had taken the time to pay a bit of attention to the detail and to involve your concerns in conversation and co-operation with your neighbours you may have been surprised that there are probably many points regarding concerns relating to the state of Windsor view the party or common wall and the milldam that you would have in common.

It is unfortunate that an incident has occurred involving vandalism to your property and this is not condonable. It is immature and counter productive and I am sure it has been very distressing to you. However to an undisciplined and immature mind who would contemplate and respond in such a way it would not be to difficult to objectify you in the same way that you objectify and lump together in your acrimony those people whom are your neighbours and concerned residents of 75 households with legal and other concerns regarding what happens in their community as objectors and perceive themselves to be from your actions and statements as being held in contempt by you.

What is unclear is as to where you stand in respect of "Clyndes, Broome, Bradbury and associates" and the idea of development on the Milldam.

You are obviously not in favour of "The Objectors" as you objectify all of those who do not agree with you although that is a bit unclear since I am not to sure what you do actually mean by:

"Perhaps it is still not too late for the protestors to take note of the conditions of Windsor View and the retaining wall, and begin to conduct their campaign in a more sensible and open-minded fashion."

And other vague statements like it. Why don't you state exactly what it is you want and how you think it could be achieved? Should we refer to you as our objector since you object to our opinions?

It is clear that the position you have adopted has meant that "Clyndes, Brrom, Bradbury and associates" have been clutching at the straw you have given them with a ravenous desperation. As anything they can twist into their web and interpret as support is going to be an opportunity that they cannot fail to exploit.

Perhaps it would be useful for you to indicate what support you do feel towards Green-Tops Ltd, their business practices, Chainsaw Tuesday, Little Chain Saw Wednesday, the idea of a minimum of ten 4 bedroom Houses and Roadway access etc?

Hope that you feel like returning and participating in the process soon.

From John Rouse , former resident of Windsor Road
Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Mill pond access

I'm somewhat puzzled about this discussion about access to the millpond. The legal position as I understand it (I am not a lawyer) is as follows:

As this is not an adopted highway, it belongs to the riparian landowners. So the owners of No. 2 Windsor Road and No.1 Windosr View own one side, and the owners of Windsor Place own the other half. There is a very short portion owned by the successors to Messrs. Redman (whoever they may be this week) but this is clearly beyond the section owned by the Windosr Place residents.

I had a look at the millpond on Tuesday, and found the damage to be less than I feared, though still considerable. There were a lot of dispossessed birds flying around, clearly looking for somewhere to nest. I was cheered to see someone has already constructed some ecological dwellings on the site, perhaps we can expect to see Mark Clyndes moving in at any moment?

From John Rouse , former resident of Windsor Road
Thursday, February 17, 2005

Mill pond access

I had another look at the millpond today (don't see me for years and then twice in a week!). It looks to me as though the road to the rear of Windsor View is subsiding quite badly since I used to live there.

Has anyone considered asking the council to serve a dangerous structures notice on the owners of the retaining wall, or are the stuffed brown envelopes already in circulation?

From Annie Conboy , of Windsor Road
Thursday, April 14, 2005

Clyndes out of the woodwork!!!!

I happened to be arriving home at about 3.20 this afternoon (14 th April) and saw the man himself (and a workman) sculking away down Windsor Road. Apparently, he has now had erected (nailed to 2 trees) a large sign headed 'Green Tops Foster Mill' that tries to state that the site is:

Private unless permission for access is given by Green Tops. Apparently, according to this sign, the right to access the site on foot can also be withdrawn at any time!

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