Thursday, April 7, 1966

WORKERS were left shocked this week by the news that a controversial concrete mixing plant is likely to shut within 12 months.

It seems likely that the plant at Radcliffe Hall, which has been at the centre of an ongoing planning debate since 1959, will soon close, with the amount of gravel left in the workings running out fast.

The machine, which has been described by councillors and members of the public as a "monstrosity and an eyesore", is dependent on local aggregate for its manufacture of concrete.

Another request from is owners for permission to import aggregate to the site from outside the town has been rejected by Radcliffe Council.

They have been told that the importation of materials would prolong the mixing site and likely lead to the establishment of a permanent industrial facility, which is contrary to the local authority's desire for the land to be restored to its agricultural use as soon as possible.

The 80-foot high mixer was erected on the site by its former owners, Elliott's Sand and Gravel Company, without planning permission in 1959.

When a formal planning application was made, it was rejected, leading to a public inquiry.

The outcome of that process was that the government granted approval for the machine to operate as long as the sand and gravel workings were yielding their own material.

The firm was specifically banned from importing material from other sites, but it was expected that the workings had a lifespan of roughly 10 years.

William Cooper Ltd took over the site last July and told the Radcliffe Times in December that rumours of the site's impending closure were no more than "local gossip".

The company told the council, however, that it was in a dire situation, having discovered that far less aggregate existed at the site than had been estimated.

Local residents will be delighted with the news, having complained for years about dust in the area.

Situated on part of the land owned by William Cooper Ltd is the historic Radcliffe Tower, which is scheduled for protection and preservation as an ancient monument.