Unlocking the potential of Brighouse site

Cromwell Bottom

Visitors to the Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve near Brighouse could see some big changes take place in the area, as Calderdale Council’s Cabinet consider ideas for major improvement work on the site. 

Much of  the 100 acre site comprising  the Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve and a former landfill facility is owned by Calderdale Council. 

The nature reserve is home to a range of important wildlife habitats, some of which are found no where else in the borough. Although it currently has minimal facilities, the site is easily accessed by car or bus from the nearby main road. 

The area offers great potential for enhancement. On Monday 13 April, Cabinet will decide if work should be undertaken to develop a more imaginative vision for the site, making the most of the area. 

The proposed plan could potentially provide residents and visitors in the Lower Calder Valley with improved access to outdoor recreation and outdoor educational facilities. The plan would be developed following further consultation, and ideas include a new environmental learning centre, improved wildlife conservation and sustainable employment opportunities.  

It would also look at the construction of a network of improved walking and cycling trails, starting and ending at the visitor centre linking the nearby areas of Rastrick, Brighouse, Elland and Southowram.  

Another possible idea for the development plan would be to take advantage of the weir structure on the River Calder, to generate hydro power whilst allowing  passage for fish such as salmon. This could supply local facilities with power and feed into the National Grid. 

The site could also include play areas for children, geo-caching, camping, canoeing and other outdoor activities. 

Calderdale Council’s Head of Housing, Environment and Renewal, Mark Thompson, said: 

“Although at a very early stage of planning, these exciting ideas could unlock the potential of a currently under-utilised facility.  

“Cabinet will consider proposals to consult on ideas for the Cromwell Bottom area, and to involve local people and interested groups in designing a master plan for the site. 

“Following this, the project would require further work to allow costs to be estimated and funding sought.”

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