Let us keep green space, say villagers

PASSIONS were running high at the latest meeting of a campaign group fighting to stop development on their local green space.

Around 50 people went to the Copley Village Environmental Protection Group meeting at Old Rishworthians rugby club to "Stop the rape of our valley".

They say the planned transformation of land between Copley and Holmes Road, Sowerby Bridge is an "unscrupulous development".

Residents want the land to be left as a flood plain and the local wildlife, including otters and kingfishers, should remain.

Calderdale Council has spent two years, and more than 1 million, looking at alternative uses to the land.

A development agreement was signed between the council and Genr8 to look at creating 400 homes and 660 jobs as well as 12,500 square foot of business units.

"On one hand they're trying to regenerate Sowerby Bridge and on the other they're building new businesses on this development which can hardly do much to help the businesses on Wharf Street," said Diane Wade, from the group.

She said villagers had already been told their home insurance premiums could treble if the plans go ahead.

"We're in this looking after ourselves.

"They're pushing forward whether we like it or not."

"We want it to be the way it always has been," said Mrs Wade.

Steve Blacksmith from Halifax Scientific Society said the land houses species including the willow warbler.

Residents have 21 days to object once plans are released.

"The green valley is our green lung space. It's where we should be able to go and be at peace and be away from noise pollution.

"When it's gone, it's gone," said Mrs Wade.

* Do you think Copley's green space should be saved? Email yoursay@halifaxcourier.co.uk