of Hall Hill, together with Bollington Town Council, held
a public open day on Sunday 11th March
2012 at the Civic Hall.
A main objective was to gather evidence of use of the footpaths
going back at least 20 years, evidence which can be used to support
a claim for designation of the footpaths across the Hall Hill fields.
A constant stream of visitors have provided a wealth of evidence, pictures,
documents, etc. which will be very valuable for establishing
the case for footpaths.
If you have pictures or other evidence of the use of the
fields by the public (you!) over the years then do please get in touch
public meeting was held on Tuesday January 31st 2012 at Bollington Town
Hall where 72 residents from the Hall Hill area attended and agreed to
form 'Friends of Hall Hill' under the leadership of
Nicole Roberts-Morris to organise the community opposition to the threat
of development of the fields. The meeting took the view that both areas
of land owned respectively by by Messrs Cumberbirch and Organic Developments
Ltd should remain open for public use. They are organising an application
for Village Green status and for the designation of the footpaths across
the lower part of the land, owned by Organic Developments, Public Rights
Stella Kemp, Cheshire East Council, is drafting an Open Spaces policy
for the whole of Cheshire East and she is working on the Bollington section
at the moment (02/2012).
On 17th January 2012 Organic Developments Ltd published
a press release describing their intentions
In October 2011 a large part of the lower part
of the land was strimmed.
On 25th October the site was discussed at Bollington Town Council's
Strategic Planning Committee meeting in the presence of c.30
members of the public. It was agreed that a community group should
be established and a number of activities put in train for early
action. It has since been decided to re-establish the Hall Hill/
Ashbrook Road/ Lowerhouse Residents' Association and this will
be done in January 2012.
If you wish to be put in touch with this group and to receive
information by email please send
In December the new owner of the lower half of the fields, Mr
Sinclair of Organic Developments Ltd, began cutting down the
young trees across the site. This was stopped by the CEC Tree
Officer who has since issued a Tree Protection Order (TPO) on
all remaining trees on the entire fields.
Bollington Town Council (BTC) agreed at their meeting on 10th
January 2012 to proceed to establish Village Green status for
the lower part of the fields.
Hall Hill fields is one of the largest pieces of
open land within the town and it was sold at auction on 2nd June
2011. We know the buyer to be a Mr Sinclair. The land
is located beside Hall Hill and between Henshall Road, Moss Lane,
Lowerhouse and behind the properties in Albert Road. The land is
in two ownerships; the top half is presently owned by Messrs H
Cumberbirch & Son Ltd. The lower part was owned by another
who put it up for sale.
The land has been derelict for some decades and has been used
as a recreational resource for which it is ideally suited. It
extends across the hillside with fine views to the north. In
total it is about 18 acres (c.8 hectares) in size with the lower
part being about 9 acres (c.4 hectares) in size. It is scheduled
for planning purposes as Green Belt.
At one time, in the 1970s, planning permission was given to
build on the whole site but this has long since expired. According
to the Borough Local Plan published in 2004 and still extant
the land is designated as Open Space, policy RT6(9) applies,
and it has the additional designation of a Nature Conservation
Priority Area, policy NE16 applies. James Bagley is the CEC Environment
The local community are preparing their organisation to oppose
any development proposal that doesn't meet with their approval.
The Friends of Hall Hill have now been set
up to manage the community response to development plans and
all those in the local community with concerns should make contact
with Nicole Roberts-Morris.
The pictures above were taken in late 2011 immediately after
the new owner had all the young trees cut down. All remaining
trees are now protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).
Part of the ground alongside Henshall Road, behind the trees
in the picture (right), was once the domestic waste tip for Bollington
Urban District Council - around the 1950s we believe. Those were
the days when any old hole in the ground would do! I understand
the tip extended in a narrow deep valley down the field about two
thirds of the way to Dean Valley School. It is believed that the
stream that originally ran open down this valley was piped in at
the bottom of the tip, and no doubt provides drainage for the contents
of the tip!
This view is directly opposite Ovenhouse Lane.
long time local resident very kindly sent in the following: "The
'tip' extended from Henshall Road to the northern field boundary
which is level with the boundary which marks the northern edge of
the gardens of Springbank Road. A long time local resident said that
the field was used to tip household rubbish from the housing estate.
The flies from the dump used to return to the houses along Ovenhouse
Lane and thus the dump was ordered to be disused. If you look on
Google Earth maps, where they have the wartime RAF aerial reconnaissance
footage, you can see what it looked like before the valley was used
I was told that Springbank was a good hill for flying
kites on before it was built-on in 1969/1970.
The valley had ash from the mill boilers tipped and just below
the soil surface and extending as far down as small boys can dig
with a spade in ash and clinker. This can be found on the lower
section of the field furthest away from Henshall Road. Mounds of
earth stood on top of this ash in places which had been placed
here in perhaps the 1960s.
No more tipping took place until around 1974 when perhaps fifty
lorry loads of sludge was tipped over the edge of the level section
of the field (closest to Henshall Road in a line from the end of
Springbank to the end of Hall Hill) and onto the 'tip' proper.
The edge was level with the two large ash trees on the West side
of the boundary.
The sludge was tipped over the edge of the face and also place
around over the level section, level with the end of the Hall Hill
In 1970 a large excavation was made running from the stone gate
posts upon which the vehicular track ran north to the edge of the
'tip'. Culvert pipes were laid to take the stream which runs underneath
the field and used to exit from the much older culvert which exited
just at the northern boundary of the 'tip' and ran as an open stream
from the northern boundary, until it reached the boundary of the
school and thence under the school and into the mill pond. This
stream, too, was culverted in around the 1990s mainly because successive
generations of small boys would dam the stream with sand dug from
the bank and then the sand would be washed into the culvert and
The original exit from the culvert to the stream was constructed
of local stone and looked like it might have been 19thC. It is
possible it was constructed in the 1950s in order to avoid the
contents of the tip from contaminating the stream.
The school was built in 1971/72 and the stream used
to flow from the northern boundary of the tip (fenced with large
trees) to the point of the boundary with the school and thence
around the contour to the west, then in the direction of the mill
The factory across Albert Road was built in 1971 as WHK Die-Castings,
an aluminium die casting company.
The northernmost of the two fields was kept as pasture, grazed
by two horses owned by Barbers (Lowerhouse). One grey and
one large chestnut horse. The horses arrived in perhaps 1974. The
grey died, I cannot remember when. But the chestnut horse died
in the early 1990s. At this point the pasture began to revert to
The 'tip' and the two pasture fields to the north were in crisscrossed
with tracks made by children when I arrived in 1970 and had clearly
been in use for a long time in the past."
According to the very old sign, now being consumed by the tree,
the land once belonged to the Bollington Printing Company. They
inhabited Oak Bank Mill, where Hamson Drive is today. I'm told
there was much industrial waste deposited in the tip as well as
domestic waste. I have been told by one time employees of the print
mill that they dumped large quantities of their chemical waste
here, including printing inks.
A long time local resident very kindly sent in the following: "The
metal signs which remain extant at the far south east corner of
the tip along Henshall Road and at the end of Springbank, where
there is a gateway into the field, were placed there around 1973.
The rolled steel U-section upon which the signs are mounted was
set into concrete held in steel drums retrieved from the tip and
the the upper edge of the drum is nearly three feet under ground
level! Bollington Printing Company had tipped all manner of refuse
on the tip and there were a lot of old steel drums and plastic
drums lying around."
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