What is the Sowerby Bridge Masterplan?

This masterplan sets out, at a high level, the aspirations of the Sowerby Bridge community for the heart of the town. It has been developed by the Sowerby Bridge Development Board in conjunction with Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council, and compiled by 2B Landscape Consultancy.

It is the intention that this document will provide a framework to guide development and restoration work.

This work has been inspired by the energy that currently surrounds the Calder Valley. The area is being recognised at local and national levels as an exciting and precious environment that is worth preserving, enhancing and cherishing. Funding for infrastructure such as the transport network, and flood resilience, is being directed towards Calderdale. We wish to ensure that funds and energies invested in Sowerby Bridge are effective in contributing to the spirit of this special place.

Good placemaking can boost tourism, contribute to a thriving community and sustainable economy, and help to deliver the public health agenda. We want the town centre to welcome tourists, delight locals, encourage businesses, and promote prevention of ill health rather than cure - through clean air, encouragement of exercise, and an atmosphere that promotes mental wellbeing.

The master plan should be used to inform developers, planners, landowners and the public. It is intended to help ensure that interventions work together to achieve a coherent and liveable place for Sowerby Bridge residents to be proud of.


What has been done so far?

Calderdale Council in conjunction with the Sowerby Bridge Development Board appointed a landscape architects to produce a masterplan which sets out, at a high level, the aspirations of the Sowerby Bridge community for the heart of the town.

Following this, a further commission was awarded to produce concept design work for the central Sowerby Bridge areas and we are now engaging with the public to gain their views on the current proposals.

Following the engagement process, the landscape architects will review and document any design changes to inform the next stage of design works i.e. developed design.

What are the aims of the Sowerby Bridge Masterplan?

The aims of the masterplan are for Sowerby Bridge to be:

Healthy - walkable and bikeable, with clean fresh air to breathe

Attractive - a desirable place to live, work and visit, with distinctive character

Sustainable - protecting and improving our spaces, with the future in mind

What are the timescales for the Sowerby Bridge Masterplan?

The masterplan sets out a ‘long term’ vision, provisionally dated to 2040. It is hoped that some of these interventions would happen much earlier than that - but it is accepted that the more ambitious ideas require significant funding and/or have additional obstacles to overcome.

‘Aspirations without significant barriers’ have been identified, which should be more readily achievable in the shorter term. It is envisaged that these interventions could have taken place by 2025. It is possible that some elements of the masterplan could be delivered by the Corridor Improvement Programme which aims to be delivered by 2021, however this is still to be determined through the detailed design process of the CIP schemes.

This masterplan should be viewed as a live document. Although the intention is that it influences development, rather than the other way around, it should be reviewed regularly and be capable of responding to unforeseen changes.

What work does the Sowerby Bridge Masterplan proposals include?

Good placemaking can boost tourism, contribute to a thriving community and sustainable economy, and help to deliver the public health agenda. We want the town centre to welcome tourists, delight locals, encourage businesses, and promote prevention of ill health rather than cure - through clean air, encouragement of exercise, and an atmosphere that promotes mental wellbeing.

With that in mind, the areas listed below have been developed to concept design stage. Please refer to the drawings for further detail on the proposals.

  • Tuel Lane car park (between Market and Canal)
  • Market Place
  • Wharf Street
  • Old Cawsey
  • Canal Basin area
  • Cobbled footbridge/non-vehicular route to station
  • Station
  • Station Road
  • Coal Drops
  • Arches
  • West Street

How does it link to the proposals for the Corridor Improvement Programme?

The Sowerby Bridge masterplan and the Corridor Improvement Programme are separate work packages, however Calderdale Council have ensured that the designers for both projects have worked in conjunction where required to ensure the aims of both projects align where possible. It is possible that some elements of the masterplan could be delivered by the Corridor Improvement Programme, however this is still to be determined through the detailed design process of the CIP schemes. 

Are the proposed schemes definitely going ahead?

There is currently no specific funding identified to deliver the individual schemes that make up the Sowerby Bridge Masterplan. However, it is the intention that this document will provide a framework to guide future development and restoration work (for example, it is already influencing the CIP work to undertake improvement to the A58 corridor, which is backed by significant regional funding). It can also be used as a bidding document for grant funding as and when it becomes available.

The master plan should be used to inform developers, planners, landowners and the public of the aims and aspirations of the Sowerby Bridge community. It is intended to help ensure that interventions work together to achieve a coherent and liveable place for Sowerby Bridge residents to be proud of.

How will the Sowerby Bridge Masterplan be funded?

There is currently no specific funding identified to deliver the individual schemes that make up the Sowerby Bridge Masterplan. However, it is the intention that this document will provide a framework to guide future development and restoration work (for example, it is already influencing the CIP work to undertake improvement to the A58 corridor, which is backed by significant regional funding). It can also be used as a bidding document for grant funding as and when it becomes available.

The master plan should be used to inform developers, planners, landowners and the public of the aims and aspirations of the Sowerby Bridge community. It is intended to help ensure that interventions work together to achieve a coherent and liveable place for Sowerby Bridge residents to be proud of.

How much will the Sowerby Bridge Masterplan project cost?

The Sowerby Bridge Masterplan is at the early stages of the design process and costings have not yet been identified for each of the concept design areas.

Do the scheme proposals have an effect on local car parking in Sowerby Bridge?

The headline total at this conceptual stage is 67 spaces lost overall in central Sowerby Bridge. This number is fewer than the 76 spaces identified by the Sowerby Bridge Parking Study as the lowest number of empty spaces at any one time.

One of the drivers for the masterplan is a commitment to improving air quality in the town, which includes discouraging car use and encouraging more sustainable modes of transport.

Will the scheme proposals have an effect on local bus services along the routes?

The proposals will not have a direct impact in terms of the number of buses and routing of any of the local bus services along the corridors. 

What will happen to existing market traders?

At this stage, the designs are conceptual, but include a flexible space for market stalls to remain in a similar location to the present market. The intention is that covered stalls can be erected, including pop up power supply, but the space is also able to function in other ways when the market is not in use, e.g. for evening events. As design work progresses for the market, existing traders will be encouraged to get involved in shaping proposals.

How do the proposed schemes link to the A629 works that are currently ongoing / proposed?

There is no direct link to the A629 projects, although they relate to the same funding package from the WYCA, for transport improvement in the region. However, throughout the design process the A629 project team will be engaged where required to ensure the schemes complement each other where possible and cause the least amount of disruption to residents and commuters along the route.

For further details on the A629 works please visit our Next Chapter website:

www.calderdalenextchapter.co.uk/

Have the schemes taken the Local Plan in to consideration?

Yes the most recent local plan assumptions have been taken in to consideration. For more information on the Local Plan, please use the links below:

All the Local Plan information can be found at: wwww.calderdale.gov.uk/localplan

Emails can be sent through: spatial.planning@calderdale.gov.uk

Has an Environmental Impact Assessment been carried out?

No, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is not required at this stage at the design process. If required, an EIA will be determined during the further stages of development as part of the statutory planning processes. 

Has a Transport Impact Assessment been carried out?

No, the need for a transport impact assessment will be determined during the next stages of development as part of the statutory planning processes. 

What other engagement will be taking place in the future?

The requirement for future engagement activities will be confirmed during the next stage of development.