Contaminated land

The former Turner Brothers Asbestos (TBA) site

​​The former Turner Brothers Asbestos (TBA) site is a privately-owned site of approximately 30 hectares. It's situated 1km north-west of Rochdale town centre.

The site has a long history of industrial use including asbestos manufacture dating back to the 19th​ century. Although we do not own the site and our power to do anything with it is very limited, we want to find a long-term future for it that is safe and sustainable.

​Update​s on the former TBA site

If you have any questions, please get in touch using the contact details on this page. 

  • December 2022 - the Public Protection Service understands that the owner is continuing to prepare to submit a planning application for the redevelopment of the site.
  • November 2022 - the Public Protection Service received concerns from 1 resident regarding the noise emitted by the generator supplying the security cabin. This was raised with the owner and they quickly took action to reduce noise levels. Site visits by officers have confirmed that the noise is reduced and doesn't cause a statutory noise nuisance.
  • May 2022 - the Public Protection Service formally requested that an Environmental Impact Assessment was undertaken to inform the development of the demolition method statement and any subsequent planning applications.
  • Tuesday, 9 November 2021 - in November 2021 the site ownership of the former TBA site changed, ESG Trading Ltd acquired the site. The local community may see activity on the site as the new owners undertake surveys and investigations into their new acquisition. Access the latest updates on the ESG website.
  • Thursday, 19 September 2019 - an update on the site was provided to the Spotland and Falinge area forum. Read the September 2019 TBA site update.
  • Tuesday, 21 February 2017 - ​work finished on site. The samples will be analysed and the site monitored before the final conclusions report is prepared.
  • Tuesday, 3 January 2017 - ​investigation work started on the main factory area. ​​Residents around Broadlea Grove, Dell Side Way and Fallowfield Drive were advised there may be some noise associated with the works. Work ended by 5pm each day.​
  • Thursday, 22 December 2016 - site works paused for the festive break.
  • Friday, 9 December 2016 - ​due to winter conditions and the festive break, work on the site was extended until the end of ​January 2017. Our air monitoring period was also extended to accommodate this.​​
  • Monday, 21 November 2016 - drilling began. Residents around Harridge Avenue, Dell Road and Dell Side were advised there may be some noise during the week associated with the drilling. Work ended by 5pm each day.​
  • Monday, 14 November 2016 - investigation started


An investigation between November 2016 and February 2017 assessed the ground quality at the former TBA site and looked at potential environmental issues, filling in the gaps in knowledge gained from previous investigations. We have not received a copy of the report.


The area is a former industrial site and there are known hazards on the land. The public should keep to the public pathway. The site is private land and there is a security presence on site. If you're aware that your children are attempting to access the site, you should discourage them.

We pass concerns we receive to the site owner - where photos or videos can be provided. In May 2019 we reported concerns about scrambling bikes to the site owners and asked them to tackle this.

Air sampling

We commissioned a monitoring investigation of airborne asbestos fibres around the perimeter of the site from August 2015 to March 2017.

From the results of the independent testing and the fact that only 1 fibre was identified from August 2015 to March 2017, there is no evidence of any significant risk to the health of those residing in areas surrounding the site.

More information about the air sampling investigation

Why is the site not determined as contaminated land?

This privately owned site has been subject to investigations by suitably qualified and experienced consultants working on behalf of the site owners. We've also commissioned investigations to assess whether the site could be causing harm to the local community.

The investigations concluded that there's no evidence to suggest the site represents a significant risk to the wider community or that historical harm has been caused in its current form.

Whilst there's no doubt the site does contain contamination from the previous industrial usages, the previous investigations do not evidence that significant harm is, or potentially occurring. The site doesn't meet the statutory criteria to be determined as contaminated land in accordance with Part 2A of the 1990 Environmental Protection Act. 


Here's a timeline of events at the Turner Brothers Abestos site.

  • ​1890 - site is largely open fields. Mill recorded as “Clod Mill” in the south west corner of the site. Harridge Mill (with associated rail sidings) and “Tenters” in the north
  • 1910 - south western part of the site expanded and recorded as “Asbestos & India Rubber Works”. Harridge Mill in the north is recorded as disused​
  • 1920 - Harridge Sidings in the north expanded
  • 1960s - the site in the south expanded to its present-day extent
  • 1990s - asbestos materials ceased to be manufactured at the site. Buildings occupied by various small tenants
  • 2008 - tenants all vacated site
  • 2013 - suspected arson attack in February causes significant damage to the structure of the older buildings
  • 2013 - some buildings demolished and those left targeted by vandals
  • 2014 - ​further fire in January, cause unknown