Diggers in at town centre sites

Demolition work starting on Abraham Ormerod Centre, Todmorden.
Demolition work starting on Abraham Ormerod Centre, Todmorden.

Clearance work has begun this week on two historic Todmorden sites which have long been the subject of planning wrangles.

Last week the former Abraham Ormerod Medical Centre and Olympia Cinema sites were fenced off along Burnley Road and this week plant machinery was moved in to begin clearing the sites.

In July last year Calderdale Council gave supermarket chain Asda, which has permission to develop a store on the site, permission to demolish, although the New Year saw another supermarket company, Aldi, submit proposals for a supermarket there of its own and these are expected to come before council planners before the end of March.

In their day, the two neighbouring buildings, the medical centre of honey-coloured stone and the cinema with its art deco frontage, were two of the most distinctive sites in Todmorden town centre but in recent years have fallen into disrepair, being dubbed “eyesore” sites.

Over recent years proposals to use the sites have also included a flats complex for senior citizens.