Future of Cromwell Bottom scrutinised as hundreds have their say

Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve.
Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve.

A master plan for the future of a nature reserve will be drawn up with many people wanting the area to be kept as it is.

The results of a three month consultation have been released by Calderdale Council with 1,811 responses outlining what they want to see at Cromwell Bottom.

Discussions have also been held with local stakeholder groups and with neighbouring land owners and businesses with the results of these discussions being recorded separately but will be taken fully into account in the development of the land.

The results found that 25 per cent of 770 people were happy with the site as it is when they were asked what they did not like about the nature reserve.

However, there were large numbers of negative responses, falling into several categories including ‘poor appearance’ (19%), with respondents mentioning dilapidated buildings and general untidiness especially around the main entrance.

A wide range of comments highlighted protecting the nature of the site was very important to most people, with a massive 84 per cent supporting being kept away from certain areas if it would improve wildlife habitats.

The large majority of people commenting would also support the generation of renewable energy at the site

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Skills and the Environment, Councillor Jenny Lynn, said: “It’s great that so many people responded to the survey on Cromwell Bottom. It’s clearly a well loved site, and it’s really helpful that we have a good picture of what currently works and what could be improved, so we can prepare a plan for the site which meets the requirements of visitors and local people.

“It’s very important that any plans are respectful to the existing wildlife in the area, and this will be taken into account while a development plan is prepared.

“I’m really looking forward to working with local volunteers and groups such as the Cromwell Bottom Wildlife Group and other interested parties to talk over next steps in looking after this wonderful reserve.”

In April, the Council’s Cabinet approved proposals to develop plans for the future of the area in consultation with local people.

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.

The area is made up of the former landfill site at North Bank Loop and Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve.

The results of the consultation will now help the Council in the development of feasibility studies which will in turn define the brief for the compilation of a master plan for Cromwell Bottom.

Once the master plan is compiled in early 2016, another public consultation will be held before the plan is finalised. To view the full report visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/council/consultations/cromwell-bottom