A world-renowned manufacturing company says it is “disappointed” over the reaction of some residents after it revealed plans costing millions of pounds to build a new plant in Bradley Park.
Aflex Hose which has produced brake hoses or fuel pipes for more than 10 million vehicles is wanting to move from Calderdale to Kirklees.
Its headquarters are currently at Sowerby Bridge with two other factories in Brighouse. The fourth site is in Elland.
But some people living near the proposed site have raised concerns about the use of products needed to manufacture the hoses.
Residents on the Woodland Glade estate next to the potential factory have formed an action group, Allies Against Aflex, to oppose the plan.
Samantha Nelmes, who is a spokeswoman for the group, said: “I live close to where this enormous factory would be built and if it is allowed to go ahead it would have a huge effect on the quality of everyone’s lives, not just those overlooking the meadow.
“We would be subjected to continuous noise 24 hours a day and exposed to toxic PTFE, solvent and rubber fumes which are hazardous to health and the environment.
“The company will fell ancient oak trees and build right next to the beautiful woodland, causing significant ecological damage which could never be recovered.
“There are bats, owls, deer, native bluebells and many other species which will be badly affected. This site is totally inappropriate for a PTFE plastics factory and will have no community benefits whatsoever.”
A spokeswoman for Aflex said: “Aflex hose is very excited about the prospect of developing the waste ground at Bradley park.
“Our intension is to consolidate our four manufacturing facilities based in Calderdale onto a single, purpose-built, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in the heart of Kirklees.
“Aflex are a world-leading manufacturer of patented PTFE hoses and export 80% of our products across the globe. We have been trading since 1973 and offer secure stable employment currently to almost 300 employees.
“The site at Bradley Park will enable Aflex to continue its expansion and offer a variety of skilled job opportunities for the people of Kirklees. Aflex are disappointed with the objections we have seen from local residents.
“During the public consultation event and all subsequent correspondence Aflex have been completely transparent.
“Aflex also invited members of the local residents association to our main factory at Sowerby Bridge to show them the nature of our business and processes. It would appear that some residents have confused the nature of our business.
“Aflex are not a manufacturer of PTFE (Teflon) material. We are not a plastic manufacturer. Aflex process the PTFE material into hose form. The inherent dangers of PTFE raw material production are simply not present in our processing.
“PTFE or Teflon is present in almost everybody’s homes. The most common use will be in the coating for cookware, typically frying pans.
“PTFE (Teflon) has been used for over 50 years as a coating for cookware products.
“Aflex are accredited ISO18001 and 14001 to further support our environmental and health and safety commitments. We are available to answer any concerns anybody may have regarding this project and can be contacted at email@example.com”
Aflex has been making hoses in Calderdale for 40 years and had become a global operator, leading to it being purchased by Watson-Marlow Fluid Technology Group, in 2016.
It will be up to a Kirklees planning committee to decide whether permission is granted for the development.