Sowerby Bridge Copley Valley Development Scheme

Sowerby Bridge Copley Valley development planThe Sowerby Bridge and Copley Valley (SBCV) Development Scheme was set up through Yorkshire Forward’s Renaissance Market Towns Programme (2003).

The main objective of the development scheme is to support and improve the local economy of Sowerby Bridge and Copley. This is to provide much needed employment space for existing and new businesses looking to locate to the Upper Calder Valley area. It also aims to create new employment opportunities within the area.

Milner Royd Local Nature Reserve and Copley Valley Green Corridor

Community consultation

Calderdale Council, in partnership with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, the Environment Agency, local community groups and Genr8 Developments, has been successful in a Stage One bid for European Structural Investment Fund. This is a large bid, covering several sites along the River Calder, from Hebden Bridge to Brighouse, and includes the Milner Royd Local nature reserve and Copley Valley Green corridor. If the Stage Two application is successful, there will be funds to development the biodiversity / recreational potential of these sites.

You can also view the site plan: PDFCopley Valley Green Corridor site plan [PDF 221KB] .

Note: This consultation has now closed.


Updated: November 2017

All four employment units have been sold to BCA Group, DSales (UK) Ltd, GWD Convenience Distribution Limited and William Hayes Limited/

On the residential side of the site, the first Taylor Wimpey show home was opened on the 28th October 2016. House and apartment sales are gathering pace: 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 2017. 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 by Summer 2018.

Project background

ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) logo

A public consultation for the development scheme began in 2003. 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 to appoint Genr8 Developments LLP, as the preferred developer, on 21st September 2009.

The first phase of infrastructure works commenced in 2011 with £5.2m of funding, secured from Yorkshire Forward. This work was completed in 2013 and included:

  • creation of a new road bridge over the river;
  • demolition of the former Sterne Bridge;
  • and 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.

A new link road connecting Hollas Lane with Fall Lane was opened on 27th July 2015. Minor works to the Fall Lane, Canal Road and Mearclough Road junction, were completed on 31st July 2015.

About the site

The site is a large brownfield site with a complex history of previous land uses. This includes: a former landfill site, sewage treatment works and dye works. The river Calder and Calder and Hebble Navigation (canal) run through the site, adding challenges to delivering the master plan. New bridges over the river, canal and new roads have been essential in order to open up access to the site. Some work has already been completed, with more work planned in 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 - 18th November 2014;
  • New link road opened - 27th July 2015;
  • Commence residential development - May 2016;
  • Taylor Wimpey show home opened October 2016;
  • Completed employment zone - December 2016.

Project Board

The Project Board is made up of a mix of local Ward members and Cabinet members, as follows:

The Board meets every three months to review the project. If you have any questions about the development, contact your local Councillor and ask them to raise your question at the next Board meeting.

The Board will receive a written update to replace the Christmas Board on Thursday 14th December 2017.

Key documents and factsheets

These factsheets explain some of the land remediation processes that have taken place and the longer term approach to ecology:

See also