Asbestos Dumping Spodden Valley

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JoeMaguire's picture
Joined: 26-09-03
May 8 2005 20:34
Asbestos Dumping Spodden Valley

Got this from Indymedia...

bryan bamford nv
Joined: 19-04-05
May 15 2005 19:42

The latest info in last week's Private Eye & this weekend's ROCHDALE OBSERVER is that Countryside Properties - the developers seeking planing permission to build an urban village on the former Turner Brothers asbestos site - has launched their own website. Countryside Properties justify this saying: 'We are aware that the public interest in Spodden Valley and its future is high and this new website acknowledes that there is a need to address many questions thatare being raised by the general public...'

The site address is

There has been some concern expressed about confusion of this new company site address with the protest site against the planning application. Jason Addy, a Save Spodden Valley spokesman, challenged the section of the new site which described asbestos as an 'emotive issue'. He said: 'The content of this website seems as empty as their promises.'

The campaigners' site is:

At present the protestors are trying to contact former workers at Turners who may know where asbestos was dumped on the east of the site. The developers are currently trying to get permission to close public footpaths through parts of the site on grounds of public safety. If accepted the closure could last for 18 months.

bryan bamford nv
Joined: 19-04-05
Jul 1 2005 06:33


Latest news from the troubled former asbestos factory site in Rochdale where there are controversial plans to build 600 homes and a children’s nursery: The former Turner & Newall site in the Spodden Valley was once the world’s largest asbestos textile factory.

Tests conducted by the Health and Safety Executive and just released under the Freedom of Information Act have confirmed traces of deadly asbestos in large piles of crushed rubble on the former asbestos factory site.

The piles of rubble, clearly seen from a nearby main road, measure up to 30 feet high and may contain about 1000 tonnes of crushed building waste.

The reports just released suggest up to 1% asbestos within 3 of the 8 samples taken- This may be up to ten times higher than the legal limits before waste is classified as “Hazardous” (0.1% w/w -see

and )

Local residents are concerned – over the past 10 months they say they gathered photographs and videos of the rubble being disturbed by heavy machinery and loaded on open wagons then driven through the streets of Rochdale to unknown destinations.

Campaign group “Save Spodden Valley” is asking for an immediate enquiry to find out:

1. Where has some of the rubble been moved to?

2. Can experts determine if there is a health risk?

3. Why did the developers’ own tests on the rubble detect no asbestos?

Rochdale’s new MP Paul Rowen has called an urgent Adjournment Debate in Parliament for today (Tuesday 28th June- 1.30pm Westminster Hall)

Supported by a number of North-West and national MPs from all parties, Paul Rowen is to quiz a Government Minister on the:

“Controls on the safe removal of asbestos dumped in landfill and derelict industrial sites”

The MP believes that the questions raised in Rochdale may have health implications for national house building policy on former industrial sites.

In addition to approximately 1000 tonnes of crushed rubble already on the Rochdale Site, the developers Countryside Properties and MMC Estates have submitted plans to demolish all the former asbestos factory buildings on the 72 acres site to create about 30,000 tonnes of infill for the controversial housing development.

The planning application is currently on hold with Rochdale Council pending further tests and reports.


For more information please contact:

Jason Addy: Save Spodden Valley- 01706 644774 or 07785 39 60 90.

Hilda Palmer- Greater Manchester Hazards Centre- 0161 953 4037

The piles of crushed rubble are clearly visible from a public vantage point- Rooley Moor Rd, Rochdale. Postcode OL12 7EG. (see

(Copyright-free photographs are available).

bryan bamford nv
Joined: 19-04-05
Jul 1 2005 06:51

Report in ROCHDALE OBSERVER (29/6/05):

The postal workers' union - the CWU - say they may boycott the proposed development at Rochdale's Spodden Valley. If there is a threat to their members the Communications Workers Union say tyhey may refuse to lay cables, put up phone lines and deliver letters to the houses on the site.

Dave Joyce, CWU's national health & Safety officer warned: 'Proposals are at an early stage, but if our members believe their health could be in danger we would have to seriously consider not going on to the site.

'We would have to see reports from an independent expert to show that the site could be developed safely

'We have expressed our very serious concerns to ministers & local politicians, because if the developmeent proceeded, postal workers & telecommunications workers would be required to work there before & after construction.

'Our members would have to install & maintain telecommunications equipment, including underground services & Royal Mail engineers would have to instal, remove & repair mail boxes which would require penetrating the soil.'

The developers MMC/Countryside Properties said: 'We welcome the debate in the House of Commons'.

bryan bamford nv
Joined: 19-04-05
Nov 5 2005 13:24

Since July there have been developments at Rochdale's Spodden Valley: In September the two companies concerned with the application to build on the contaminated site apologised for misleading the public and admitted that the asbestos contamination was worse than they had hitherto claimed. Both Countrywide Properties and MMC Developments made public statements to that effect.

This admission followed a concerted campaign by Save Spodden Valley residents protest group and ongoing reports in the Rochdale Observer, Private Eye and NORTHERN VOICES.

Certain local politicians are still reluctant to swallow these facts. These include the brothers Smith - Sir Cyril Smith (former Rochdale MP) and his bother Norman (a former Rochdale Councillor). There have also been personal attacks on people involved in the campaign and accusations of political motivation.

Also worrying in Rochdale has been the discovery of asbestos in a poor state in the ceilings of former council houses up Kirkholt. The arms-length company - ROCHDALE BOROUGHWIDE HOUSING - responsible for these houses has reassured the residents that the problem and the danger is minimal. This week 'NORTHERN VOICES' made inquires about the companies doing work on the site to make the houses safe and found that the work had been sub-contracted out to two companies: Crudens and Bramalls. At present we do not know is the workers for these companies were union members or had adequate safety gear and followed proper good practice for doing such a job.

bryan bamford nv
Joined: 19-04-05
Jan 5 2006 16:22

Jason Addy of the Spodden Valley Campaign is down to speak at a meeting called by Tameside Trade Union Council at Stalybridge Labour Club at 7.30pm on Thursday January 19th. The meeting will discuss 'Workers' Memorial Day' (28th, April). Other speakers will include the Manchester electricians. The idea is to organise a co-ordinated campaign in the region in April.

Rob Ray's picture
Rob Ray
Joined: 6-11-03
Jan 6 2006 11:42

Hey I'd nearly fogotten about this, Brian you got anything you could cobble together into an article for freedom at short notice?