Plans to replace a canal bridge have been unanimously approved by a planning committee – despite over 600 letters of objection.
Sterne Bridge in Copley, Sowerby Bridge, will be replaced by the developers Genr8, who want to spend a further £62.5million building new homes and industrial units on t land between Copley and Holmes Road.
Protesters against the development fear the bridge replacement signals the first phase of the long-term plans.
But the planning committee told the opposition, who turned out in force for the meeting, that they could only consider the proposals at face value.
Councillor David Hardy said: “We’re in an unenviable position given the amount of support against the application, but we’ve got to look at what is in front of us and things that may come up in the future will be dealt with then.”
But Diane Wade, who spoke at the meeting on behalf of Copley Valley Environmental Protection Group, said: “We’re bemused and disappointed by the decision made.
“The council are arrogant and incompetent and the planning process is a complete farce,” she said.
“The fact that they’re disregarding the views of 600 people is a joke. I thought we lived in a democratic society but perhaps I am wrong.
“These people are here to serve the public and are paid for with our taxation.
“But then they make decisions like this, which are in breach of case law,” she said.
The existing bridge will be demolished in stages to allow cars to continue to cross while the work is carried out. Once completed the bridge will be wide enough to accommodate two lanes of traffic.
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