On the extensive site of the former Kinghorn mill, in Todmorden, which was demolished many years ago, lies a flattened wasteland that is turning steadily back to nature. A trip there finds you forcing your way between burgeoning bushes of lilac, marsh plants, shrubs, and heather, surrounded by butterflies, frogs and birds. A low building remains, maybe an engine house or shed, and it is suspected though not proven that people live there, maybe homeless people or maybe people enjoying day-long benders, so in a way the council’s ambition for the site is being realised (subversively). Recent minutes of Todmorden Pride Planning meeting state that since the refusal of Sainsburys application for a hyper-market on the site the area has become ‘run down, unsightly and potentially dangerous’. Todmorden Pride wanted to make a bright new future on this site, in the form of a ‘Mixed Use Urban Employment Village for the 21 Century’ – you can find hastily prepared plans for new housing and marinas and perfect living spaces with art and culture meted out fairly to all, in this document which is redolent with slogans of a better future- “A new form of employment in a new type of place”, and “Traditional living in a modern style” But maybe somehow it is better to allow the town to grow more organically, more naturally.
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