Sowerby Bridge Copley Valley Development Scheme
The Sowerby Bridge Copley Valley (SBCV) Development Scheme was set up through Yorkshire Forward’s Renaissance Market Towns Programme commencing in 2003.
The main objective of the development scheme is to support and improve the local economy of Sowerby Bridge and Copley, providing much-needed employment space for existing businesses and new businesses looking to locate to the Upper Calder Valley area and creating new employment opportunities within the area.
Update: November 2016
The first employment unit at the site was completed in October, and the remaining units should be completed by December. The BCA Group, which manufactures electrical systems and electronics, has agreed to buy the largest unit of 31,250 sq ft. The business units are a mix of 10,000 – 30,000 sq ft. If you are interested in a business unit at this site, please contact Gener8’s agent, Walker Singleton|
On the residential side of the site, the site was set up in April. Work began in May. The first Taylor Wimpey show home opened on 28 October. We anticipate that the first houses will be sold to their new owners in March 2017: Taylor Wimpey: proposed housing development on Hollas Lane, Sowerby Bridge|
Plans for the new nature reserve and wildlife corridor, which are an integral part of this development, are progressing. Advanced works including the installation of post and rail fencing to enclose the corridor has begun and will continue throughout Autumn / Winter 2016. Detailed designs for the new nature reserve include board walks, seating, fencing and planting which allow a wet woodland to progress with minimal management. It is anticipated that the reserve will be completed in Summer 2018, for more information see Factsheet: approach to ecology [PDF file 722KB]|
Public consultation for the development scheme began in 2003 and the SBCV site was formally adopted for mixed use development in 2006 in the Replacement Calderdale Unitary Development Plan. Following a competitive tender process, the Council took the decision on 21 September 2009 to appoint Genr8 Developments LLP as the preferred developer.
The first phase of infrastructure works commenced on site in 2011, with circa £5.2m funding secured from Yorkshire Forward. These works were completed in 2013 and include the creation of a new road bridge over the river, demolition of the former Sterne Bridge and the construction of a new highway spur from Wakefield Road to Hollas Lane. The new part of Hollas Lane was formally adopted as public highway in May 2014.
Construction of the new link road connecting Hollas Lane with Fall Lane has been completed and the new road was opened on 27 July 2015. Minor works to the Fall Lane/Canal Road/ Mearclough Road junction were completed on 31 July 2015.
About the site
The site is a large brownfield site with a complex history of previous land uses, including a former landfill site, sewage treatment works and dye works. The River Calder and Calder and Hebble Navigation (canal) both run through the site and add to the challenges in delivering the master plan. New bridges over the river and canal and new roads have been essential in order to open up access to the site. Some of these works have already been completed, and additional works are planned as part of the second phase of infrastructure works and the wider development of new homes and commercial premises.
About the development
Planning permission has been granted for the SBCV development site for up to 200 new homes and up to 18,560m² of new commercial floorspace (Reference number 13/01325/VAR: Search planning applications). It is hoped that this will show increased confidence in the area and encourage other private sector partners to invest.
The scheme will also deliver environmental benefits to the areas and address flooding issues which have affected the area and nearby locations in the past. These include:
- New and extended flood defences to protect the local area and surrounding villages from the risk of flooding.
- The remediation of contaminated land.
- Improved access to the general public, opening up land and enabling the creation of a new Local Nature Reserve, green corridor and allotments.
- Sustainable drainage solutions, energy efficiency measures and sustainable building technology.
Through regeneration, the aim is to enhance the Sowerby Bridge to Copley Valley area, making the area an attractive place to live, work and enjoy for residents and visitors. The scheme is seen as a gateway to the Calder Valley that would complement and link with the emerging transformational projects from the Upper Calder Valley Renaissance.
- Reserved matters planning approval granted for residential development - 18 November 2014;
- Infrastructure works to deliver the new link road commenced - February 2015;
- New link road completed - week commencing 29 June 2015;
- New link road opened - 27 July 2015;
- Detailed planning application (employment zone) to be submitted - July to September 2015;
- Commence residential development - January to March 2016 (subject to National House Building Council (NHBC) monitoring period);
- Commence employment zone - January to March 2016 (subject to planning approval).
The Project Board is made up of a mix of local ward members and cabinet members as follows:
- Councillor Barry Collins
- Councillor Michael Payne
- Councillor Dot Foster
- Councillor John Hardy
- Councillor Andrew Tagg
- Councillor Marcus Thompson
- Councillor Adam Wilkinson.
The Board meets every two months to review the project. If you have any questions about the development, please contact your local Councillor and ask them to raise your question at the next Board meeting.
The next Project Board meeting will be held from 6.00pm to 7.30pm on Thursday 8 December 2016 at Halifax Town Hall.
Key documents and factsheets
- Project Board meeting presentation 28 August 2014 [PDF file 2196KB]|;
- Development master plan [PDF file 1720KB]| (indicative).
These factsheets explain some of the land remediation processes currently taking place across the development site, and the longer term approach to ecology: