Stop this plan to ruin an entire valley

Prospect avenue Pye Nest Halifax

The report in the Courier "Let us keep green space say villagers" (Courier, 20 January) about a meeting of the Copley Valley Environmental Protection Group correctly outlined some of the concerns that local folk have about the Council's proposed desecration of the Copley Valley.

The article did not however make clear that the Environmental Protection Group represents folk from Sowerby Bridge, Skircoat, and Norland - and not just the village of Copley.

The Copley Valley extends from Sowerby Bridge to Salterhebble. The vast building programme conceived by Yorkshire Forward back in 2004 would have an adverse impact on the lives of thousands of local people, not just those living in Copley Village.

Greatly increased traffic congestion, air pollution, pressure on local schools, increased flood risk and loss of wildlife habitat are rightly a concern for everyone living in and around the whole valley.

Council officers claims that any meaningful public consultation ever took place have long since been exposed as a joke, if not an outright scandal.

Last year it emerged that thousands of questionnaires claimed to have been sent out to the public in 2004 had in fact simply been 'chucked over a hedge'. Meanwhile those few late-in-the-day public 'consultation' meetings which did take place were held only to tell the public what was intended, never to ask the public what they wanted.

What the public do want (well-evidenced, by every honest survey, and at every public meeting) is for the Council to abandon this appalling plan to rape and despoil an entire green valley for the benefit of no one but bankers and property developers.

Stephen Ainsworth