More setbacks for nature reserve plans

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A master plan to develop a 100 acre nature reserve in Brighouse is now almost 18 months overdue as proposals suffered another setback.

Calderdale Council has been looking at ways to develop Cromwell Bottom and carried out a three month consultation and the results published in November 2015.

Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve practical day. Bruce Hoyle, left, and Allan Wolfenden.

Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve practical day. Bruce Hoyle, left, and Allan Wolfenden.

However, due to the Boxing Day floods in 2015 and damage caused to parts of Calderdale including Brighouse, plans were put back.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, Housing and Environment, Councillor Daniel Sutherland, said in October last year that the Council would draw up the master plan within the next six months.

However, Coun Sutherland said: “Although work on Crowther Bridge is progressing well, with the arches being lifted into place last week, the project has taken longer than expected, which has affected the progression of the Cromwell Bottom master plan.

“Work is continuing to take place with the relevant parties, including the Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group, and we are both pursuing additional external investment options for the site.

“Once Crowther Bridge is complete, which we anticipate to be this summer, we will be able to complete a draft of the master plan, to present at a future meeting of Cabinet.”

Cabinet members supported the greater use of the 100-acre site for outdoor recreation and education, whilst conserving the unique wildlife value of the nature reserve.

Work to rebuild flood-damaged Crowther Bridge at Cromwell Bottom has taken a significant step forward, as the new bridge arch is now in place.

Calderdale Council, the Canal & River Trust and the contractor Kier Group are rebuilding the bridge after it was completely destroyed.

They recently lifted a concrete arch into place to make the new bridge stronger and more flood resilient.