750 say no to Coplety Valley development

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MORE than 750 objections have been submitted against controversial plans to redevelop the Copley valley.

Developers, Genr8, say the £62.5m scheme would bring 577 jobs, 190 houses and 24 flats to the land between Copley and Sowerby Bridge.

But critics, including the vocal Copley Valley Environmental Protection group, say the development, which is on a floodplain, would destroy local wildlife habitats.

Representations have now closed on the scheme and the next stage is to go for outline planning permission. Copley Valley environmental group organiser Diane Wade pleaded with councillors for a special meeting to take place.

“There has already been set a precedent for this, councillors, as you will probably remember, when the planning application was decided for the HBOS scheme to be built on the former rhubarb fields off Wakefield Road.

“Because of the size and the serious implications of these developments, we believe the full facts cannot be justifiably considered if this planning application from GenR8 is just one of many items on a normal, crowded planning agenda,” said Mrs Wade in a letter.

The group has asked for it to take place in the council chamber instead of a committee room to allow more people to hear the debate.

Council leader Janet Battye has referred the matter to head of planning Geoff Willerton.

The planning meeting is expected to be held in mid-June.

l The Courier reported last week how allotment holders were told by Calderdale Council not to eat their home-grown vegetables after horrifying levels of contamination were found in them. The Milner Royd plots are one of the sites that could face redevelopment as part of the £62.5m Copley Valley project. Investigations into the extent of the contamination are ongoing.