Local authors support campaign
to save the Colden Valley

Tuesday, 14 November 2006

The Protect the Colden Valley Campaign, a pressure group set up by local people who are determined to defeat a proposed  greenfield development in the Colden Valley, Hebden Bridge has received a further boost.

Juliet Barker, biographer and broadcaster, whose titles include biographies of the Bronte Family and William Wordsworth, and the poet, playwright and novelist Glyn Hughes have both spoken out in support of the growing community-led campaign.

At the beginning of October, there was mass opposition from local residents as a Bradford-based developer unveiled his plans for the site - on a north facing slope opposite Colden Junior and Infant School. 

The proposals included 30 earth covered holiday homes, constructed from concrete,  parking for 30 cars, a shop, and a cafeteria. The homes will be sold  for between £200,000  and £300,000 each.  Nothing in the plans suggest that provision has been made for alternative or sustainable sources of light, heat, or sewage disposal.

The community responded quickly and at a meeting attended by over 90 people, a committee was elected which is now working hard to ensure the proposals will be defeated.

Juliet Barker said, "I am delighted to lend my support to the Protect the Colden Valley Campaign.  It seems to me that this development has nothing to do with ecological principles, concern for the environment or indeed for the local community or tourist industry. 

"The Colden Valley is a tranquil and beautiful area, rich in wildlife, archaeological interest, and literary association, from the Brontes to Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath.

"The negative impact of second homes on local communities and their services  has been well documented.  And it concerns me that the proposed development is on greenfield land.  If this proposal is  allowed to succeed, - on any scale -  it would set a dangerous precedent and open the floodgates for future speculative developers – not just in this area but in the rest of the Calder Valley."

Glyn Hughes added:

"I have lived in the Calder Valley for over 30 years, and I  love the  stark beauty of this  area, and draw great and lasting inspiration from it.

"The visible remains of the  pre and post industrial past combine in the upland communities like the Colden Valley with  sounds and smells and silences that are utterly unique.

"I’m very proud  - although not surprised – to see that  a vigorous local campaign has been established and that it is gathering momentum.  I would like to add my voice to theirs in opposing this crass and destructive proposal."

Paul Dally, Chair of the Protect the Colden Valley Campaign said:

"We’re all  thrilled  that Juliet and Glyn have added their voices to our campaign, and would like to thank them both very much for their support. If you are as concerned,  as we all are,  about this proposal then please make your views known in  the local press, on community websites, or by signing one of the petitions we have distributed around Hebden Bridge as well as in May’s Shop at Colden.  There is too much at stake here for us to be complacent about the outcome - we’re determined to fight the proposal tooth and nail.”

See also

Discussion forum

News: HOLIDAY "ECO-PARK" planned for Colden Hillside

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