The controversial planning application for 600 houses at the former Turner & Newall Asbestos factory in the Spodden Valley was addressed in the maiden speech of Rochdale’s new MP Paul Rowen.
Here are some of the excerpts: (as reported at: http://www.rochdaleonline.co.uk/News/news.asp?ID=624 )
"One of the legacies of Rochdale's textile past is the Turner Brothers asbestos site in Spotland, the site of what was once the largest asbestos factory in the world. As we know, that magic mineral has since turned into a killer dust...
The Government need to consider giving local authorities greater power to act independently to ensure that developers comply with health and safety legislation. That is vital for the Rochdale site and for sites elsewhere."
The historic speech was also an opportunity to express concern about the way the former asbestos factory site’s new owners and developers have been perceived by many in the town. Using his Parliamentary privilege of unfettered free speech, Paul Rowen MP explained:
“I am afraid that the developer, in his dealings with the council or with residents, has sometimes been less than open.”
The recent actions of the developers Countryside Properties and MMC Estates are to be investigated this week on BBC Radio 4 You and Yours programme and Private Eye Magazine.
Meanwhile, local community campaign Save Spodden Valley goes to Rochdale Town Hall this Wednesday at 6pm (25th May) to raise questions about recent events at the site including a controversial move to close about half a mile of Woodlands Road for up to 19 months.
At 7.30pm Save Spodden Valley will be hosting a large public meeting. The venue is Shawclough Community Primary School, Thrum Hall Lane, Shawclough Rochdale. Many dozens of very concerned local resident are expected to attend.