Archaeology – Lindley Moor Update

Lindley Moor 1For the past two weeks, there have been a number of archaeologists working on Lindley Moor.

At least I guess they’re archaeologists.

As I’ve mentioned before, these archaeologists don’t look like the archaeologists I know personally but the it takes all sorts.

The archaeologists are rumoured to be looking for evidence of a Roman Road at a contentious site that is currently the centre of a controversial planning application.

Lindley Moor 2

The Roman Road is thought to lead to the old fort of Cambodunum at Slack in nearby Outlane.

This morning it looks like the archaeologists have either moved away from the north-east sector of the site, to another part of the site, or they’re finished and moved on to their next project.

Over the last couple of days I’ve diverted from my evening stroll to explore the areas they have been investigating.

It has been a diverting experience; I’ve shared the fields with an enigmatic metal detector and his dog (who both seemed called from the works of M. R. James when I first encountered them).

I’ve also explored areas of the site that I have never visited before, either through laziness or the presence of violent livestock.

Lindley Moor 3I’ve had opportunity to speak to strange locals and also meet calmer, less violent livestock.

Over the last two evenings I’ve managed to bore the viewers of YouTube to tears with recordings of the various dig sites.

At first I thought that I might be overdoing it but in retrospect the videos may be all that people have to remind themselves of such a beautiful area and the lengths people went to to try prevent the local council and property developers from further destruction to our precious green belt.

Looking at the many dig sites on site (and I think some stretch off the main development site) a few have some interesting elements.

Aside form signs of recent construction materials and ceramics that may or may not have been planted as a hoax, there are also areas that the archaeologists have concentrated on… presumably with toothbrushes.

Lindley Moor 4A couple show signs of the continuation exisitng dry stone walls… but older.  As if the buildings and walls on site have been pulled back since their original construction.

Most interesting of all are the two sites containing what look like walled up culverts of some kind.  I’ve been back this evening to get pictures of the culverts for this blog.

I’m not convinced the archaeologists are done with the site yet but I’m also not convinced that anything they find will prevent the area being tarmacked over and turned into a disused data campus.

The videos are many in number but all are available on my YouTube channel.  I’d love for you to see them, so I have listed the relevant videos below.

The first three are from July 26th 2011, when I explored the southern sector of Lindley Moor and spread round to cover the western side.

The rest are from the evening of July 27th 2011, when I intended to cover the rest of the site but simply ended up ambling the whole site.

I also saw some of the local fauna…


Objection – Lindley Moor Update

Lindley MoorAs my partner drove me to work this morning, we noticed more activity in the north-east corner of Lindley Moor.

A couple of cars had pulled up in the field and the occupants were walking towards one of the exploratory gouges that I wrote about the other day.

The pair looked like archaeologists… or at least they looked nothing like friends of mine who are actually archaeologists (and look like archaeologists) but they had an academic air about them.

Maybe it’s dust from so many digs.

I am genuinely eager to hear about what – if anything – they find up at Lindley Moor.  I love the fact that I could be living so close to a site of archaeological significance.

I’ve also spotted posters in my neighbours’ windows now – proudly stating:


If I weren’t on a cul-de-sac I’d probably join them; nobody would see them though.

I’ve no idea whether my cul-de-sac neighbours support or object to the plans; I’m not particularly neighbourly or sociable at the best of times.  A nod here and a “Morning” there is the best most get out of me.

I’d love to know if they’re objecting, as I am, and if they too have written to object to the plans to build on our local greenery.

I printed letters for my partner and I today.

They’re based on standard letters that have been distributed to some of the Save Lindley Moor group on facebook.  I tweaked a couple of things because I feel guilty that I didn’t write my own from scratch; I also embellished them with personal points of view with regards the archaeological significance and additional contention on local internet use.

I’ll copy one below, in case it inspires others to do the same.

Ben Sugden
West Yorkshire
12th July 2011

RE: Planning Application 2011/91518 (Data Campus)


Dear Sir/Madam,

I write to strongly object to the use of the Lindley Moor to build upon.  There are plenty of disused and derelict brownfield sites that are ripe for redevelopment, in and around the entire Kirklees area; many of these in areas that need the revitalisation.  This is a beautiful area that should not be spoiled by gouging out great expanses of earth, forever changing the area – for the worse.

Already, the area is over subscribed in terms of schools, traffic and congestion.  Originally from the Colne Valley, I have worked hard to afford a house in an area where hills and fields are minutes away from my home.   For over 12 years I have lived in this area and I do not want to see it ruined; I do not want to see the area turn into an urban nightmare and have the area’s atmosphere changed by more houses, more people, more cars, more pollution and more crime.

Enough is enough!  For over 20 years, the developers have tried to get their hands on this land and for over 20 years the people have fought hard to ensure their area is preserved.   After 20 years they should by now get the message, LEAVE IT ALONE!!! GO SOMEWHERE ELSE THAT NEEDS AND WELCOMES THE DEVELOPMENTS!!!

It is time that the greedy councillors of the local Government stopped thinking about themselves and listened to what the people want.   Too many closed room deals are being struck, land and sites signed away without the people’s consent and these same people who live with those decisions, which are forced upon them, are tired of it.

Lindley’s schools are already oversubscribed.  If we have children, we can almost guarantee that we will not be able to place them in a local school close to home.  This is just part of the reason we moved here, good schools, good amenities and a beautiful rural/village setting.  The local area is only just large enough to support the current housing, cars and traffic population.

Traffic at peak times can be difficult as it is, if this development were given the go-ahead it will cause standstill at most points.  We already see traffic gridlocked, regularly, at the junction between Crosland Road and Lindley Moor Road – the very site proposed for development!  This can only become worse with increased traffic to the development site.

Many of the roads are country roads and will not support the amount of traffic proposed, if one road is closed for repair/resurfacing work as it is, it causes havoc just trying to get by locally.   If the motorway exit is congested, this causes backed up traffic from Lindley Moor Road to the Ainley Top roundabout.   Just building the proposed sites would cause untold damage and delays to local traffic.

The proposed sites are wholly inappropriate for this area and would be a blot on the landscapes, the rural setting we have now will be gone.   We would be left with a small scrap of greenery next to the Wappy Spring and the small recreational area near Jake Mangelwurzel’s house.  Local roads would be oversubscribed and heavily damaged by the plant machinery alone let alone the increase in local traffic and the extra cars and visitor cars that the area would attract if more houses and an industrial site are built.  There are alternative “brownfield” areas which are in need of redevelopment and would be welcomed but it’s easier and cheaper to carve up a field than knock down old ruined mills.

Since the original proposal 20 years ago, we have undergone something of a digital revolution; this is primarily why data campuses exist today.  But the site at Lindley Moor is ill suited to the needs of a modern data campus.  Sited some distance away from the local telephone exchange, I am concerned over the negative impact a data campus would have on the telecommunications network in the area.  The additional contention on local high speed internet as well as additional traffic on the airwaves would cause local technology users to suffer.

It is well known locally, that the area between Haigh Cross Farm and Peat Ponds Farm is potentially a site of archaeological significance.  An old roman road is thought to have run through the area running up to the old roman fort, “Slack” at Outlane.  Roman coins have been found in the area in the past.  This is documented in a popular guide to the Kirklees Way, a 52 mile walk around the perimeter of our great county.  One section of the guide explains the archaeological significance as it details a section of the route from Peat Ponds Farm through to Bradley Bar.  Sadly, if these plans go ahead, all hikers and ramblers will get to see are the large perimeter fences and spotlights of an unwanted Data Campus and not the rolling green moorland that our area is proud of.

I do not want this development to happen, the people of Lindley and surrounding areas do not want this to happen.  Please listen to what we say; we are the ones who live here.

Yours Sincerely,

Ben Sugden

Concerned Resident

The Lindley Moor Project (via Armaitus on…)

It would appear that plans are afoot to attempt again to gain permission to build a data centre on a green field site up the road from my house.

Furthermore, this article in my local paper expands across more of the local green belt to provide more business development space and even housing.

There are more than sufficient brown field sites in the local area.  Disused mills, demolished and run down housing and industrial areas that would be brought a new lease of life by this kind of housing or business development.

Instead, we are left fighting to protect our ever decreasing rural greenery.

The coalition government started the year with plans to sell off our nation’s forests; I worry now that this thinking will allow the developers to win their applications to build on our local green spaces.

This so called “age of austerity” could have a far more damaging impact than we might think.

I posted the entry below, the last time the Data Centre application was made.

The Lindley Moor Project It was Autumn last year when I first came across the Lindley Moor Project; an ostentatious plan to build a “data centre” on a local green field site. When I say “local”, I mean “right up the road from my house”. Now before I continue, I feel I should point out that I’m not the kind of person to shout “not on my doorstep”; I genuinely object to any green field development. In this case however, the planned development is genuinely “on my doorstep” … Read More

via Armaitus on…

The Lindley Moor Project

Planning Notice

It was Autumn last year when I first came across the Lindley Moor Project; an ostentatious plan to build a “data centre” on a local green field site. When I say “local”, I mean “right up the road from my house”.

Now before I continue, I feel I should point out that I’m not the kind of person to shout “not on my doorstep”; I genuinely object to any green field development. In this case however, the planned development is genuinely “on my doorstep”.

Now the official consultation for the project was the Thursday just gone. I received an email a couple of days ago from one of my local councillors letting me know that:

Lindley Moor

The outline Planning Application for the above development has gone through, however, it still has to go to Planning and Highways Committee.
Christine Stanfield

It still feels that there’s very little that can be done to stop this kind of development and that leaves me feeling quite frustrated. Apparently the developers tried to get approval for a similar project on the same land 10 years ago, which would be just about when I moved into the area. At the time, local hero Derek Ibbotson, helped the campaign – as he is doing again.

Planning NoticeIt doesn’t seem to make sense.  There are so manybrown field; sites available that it seems like sheer idiocy to contemplate the destruction of these rare green areas.  The council itself has continually highlighted the <em>brown field</em> sites along the Leeds Road corridor and yet these remain a desolate shambles – an eyesore on the community – whilst our ever diminishing verdant green land is taken away by empty business parks.

Planning NoticeThe key argument for the Lindley Moor project seems to be that of increased jobs in the area.  I’d counter this by stating the obvious, any development – data centre or otherwise – in this location is made valuable by its proximity to the M62.  Lindley Moor lies almost equidistant between J23 and J24, making it ideal for Leeds or Manchester commuters.

This isn’t making jobs for local people. It’s likely to add to local traffic congestion and may promote workers to travel to the area but it doesn’t create jobs for local people, as the campaign appears to imply. It certainly won’t do anything for the local economy, neighbouring house values will drop and the aesthetic qualities that attract us to the area will no longer be present.

Planning NoticeThe impact on the local area aside, I have to ask the question:

Q. Does Lindley need a Data Centre?

Nearby Copley has one, provided and staffed by HBOS. How many Lindley businesses need a Data Centre? I have recently been working with a data storage/hosting provider, UK based, who use several data centres. It has several throughout the UK and several more internationally. Data Centres do not need to be local to be worthwhile. In fact, if that were the case, a town centre Data Centre would seem more logical, surely?

Lindley Moor

At this stage I shouldn’t give in. As Cllr. Christine Stanfield has pointed out, the plan still has to go to the Planning and Highways Committee. A colleague pointed out that there is still chance to get someone like Sir Patrick Stewart, first class thespian and Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield, on board. And, there are still people like me, who strongly oppose the plans.

I can’t help feel overwhelmed by the odds. The people making these decisions are the same people who allowed the Thandi brothers to defile Castle Hill; the same people who want to allow the Thandi brothers to build on Castle Hill anyway!

What can we do? For all that we can shout and discuss these things, that is pretty much all we can do. The cynic in me is ready to believe that these decisions have already been made, those of us who want to change the decision find ourselves toothless and without ground to fight.