A Planning Inspector has dismissed an appeal for permission to build on land across the road from an asbestos factory that has caused the death of hundreds of people.
Sian Worden, a Planning Inspector with the Government has dismissed the appeal of the owners of the land to build a 3 bed roomed house, garage and workshop near Billy Lane in Old Town, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. The land in question is across the road from the site of the notorious Acre Mill factory owned by Cape Asbestos. It is believed the land is contaminated with significant amounts of asbestos.
Thanks to Frank Woolrych of the Hebden Bridge Local History Group for making this photo available. It was taken in the seventies by an unknown photographer.
Cape Asbestos moved to Acre Mill in 1939, bringing tragedy and suffering to the Calder Valley which didn’t end despite the Mill being pulled down in 1971. During the 2nd World War Cape manufactured asbestos gas masks. Cape decided to stay at Acre Mill after the war, diversifying into the manufacture of other asbestos products to take advantage of the boom in asbestos trade. Cape used white, brown and the deadly blue asbestos at Acre Mill. According to the accounts of former employees, there was a constant haze of blue and white asbestos dust throughout Acre Mill. Areas and land around Acre Mill were also contaminated with asbestos dust escaping from the factory, blowing out from the extractor fans into the street and from the vehicles that drove to and from the factory carrying asbestos.
Hundreds of people who worked at Acre Mill have gone on to develop asbestos related diseases such as pleural thickening, asbestosis and the malignant cancers, mesothelioma and lung cancer, from breathing in the deadly dust. Sadly, many of these people are not with us today. Asbestos dust hasn’t just brought pain, suffering and death to those who worked at Acre Mill. The husband, wives and children of Acre Mill workers were also exposed to asbestos dust brought home on filthy and dusty overalls and clothes. Even children attending nearby Old Town Primary School, residents living near the factory, children playing near the factory and dump site and people standing under the extractor fan waiting for a bus have gone on to develop asbestos related diseases, including mesothelioma.
Local residents in Old Town have campaigned vigorously to raise awareness of the dangers of disturbing asbestos still buried on the land. They have made a significant difference as the Planning Inspector has recognised “The concerns of neighbours and others that there may be asbestos dumped at the site, and therefore a risk of significant contamination and danger to health, must be taken very seriously.”
The Planning Inspector has gone on to say "To my mind without further information about the likely location, type and level of any contamination it is not clear whether it would be possible to develop the site safely.”
Asbestos and Mesothelioma specialists, John Pickering and Partners LLP of Halifax, have acted for many hundreds of people affected by Acre Mill over the last 3 decades.
The firm represented Alice Jefferson, a mesothelioma sufferer, whose illness and compensation claim against Cape Asbestos were featured in the important documentary "Alice: A Fight For Life." shown by Yorkshire Television in July 1982. The programme was an important catalyst for legal change and public awareness of the plight of mesothelioma and other asbestos disease sufferers and a prompt for important legal reform. To view extracts from the “Alice: Fight for Life” Documentary click here
The firm’s view is that Acre Mill probably represents the biggest industrial disaster there has ever been in Britain. The firm’s Managing Partner, Paul Glanville, who lives in Hebden Bridge and has acted in many of these cases, says "It is reassuring that the risk of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma has not been forgotten by the Council"
Follow this link to the HebWeb News ‘Update: Plans thrown out on appeal’
Follow this link to an article, ‘The Killing Mill’ for more information on Acre Mill’s history.
For further information please contact:
Paul Glanville, Managing Partner
John Pickering and Partners LLP
20 Clare Road
Tel: 01422 345535
Fax: 01422 438500
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the lining of certain bodily organs. It most commonly affects the lining of the lungs (the pleura) but it can affect other areas including organs in the abdominal cavity (the peritoneum).
John Pickering and Partners LLP- Specialist mesothelioma compensation solicitors
We are a specialist personal injury law firm. We have been handling claims for industrial disease for over 30 years. Most of our work involves acting for asbestos disease victims.
We only act for the sufferers of asbestos diseases and never act for the organisations that caused the asbestos exposure or their insurers. We have an ethical approach and pledge to donate 10% of our net profits every year to good causes that help asbestos sufferers. Click here to find out about our donations to good causes. We have also been involved in most of the landmark judgments that shape this area of law. Find out more about us or find out about our reported cases.
We are on the panels of several asbestos support groups and are ranked highly by legal guides. Click here to find out more about what others have said about us.
John Pickering and Partners LLP is a niche legal practice that has represented Claimants in the leading asbestos "test cases" in the last ten years. The firm represented Sylvia Barker in Barker v Corus (UK) Plc, a case that highlighted the legal tactics of employers and insurers trying to cut back their compensation liabilities to mesothelioma sufferers, and which prompted the amendment of the Compensation Act 2006 to ensure full compensation for mesothelioma claims. The firm represented two of the three Claimants in the Fairchild appeal, in which the insurance industry tried unsuccessfully to block compensation altogether for mesothelioma sufferers unable to identify which of two or more sources of asbestos exposure had caused their illness.
The firm represented Alice Jefferson, a mesothelioma sufferer, whose illness and compensation claim against Cape Asbestos were featured in the important documentary "Alice: A Fight For Life." Shown by Yorkshire Television in July 1982, the programme was an important catalyst for legal change and public awareness of the plight of asbestos disease sufferers and a prompt for important reform.
If you need advice about an asbestos related illness, contact us now for information about making a claim for compensation.
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