Pleased to report that the Peak District National Park have written to Yorkshire Water (Keyland Developments) regarding the woeful resurfacing works on Holmfirth Bridleways 68 & 189. Whilst clearly constrained by planning law and the hapless actions of Kirklees the letter is a positive response to the concerns of the many users who have contacted the park on the issue and is in stark contrast to the complete lack of action or interest from our council. The letter was copied to me and I reproduce most of it here.
I understand that you are the surveyor at Keyland who has been dealing with the works to the Holmfirth public bridleways numbers 68 & 189, which serve the buildings at Greaves Head and Bartin. You will be aware that the National Park Authority has recently dealt with planning and listed building applications for proposals to reintroduce the residential use of the houses. All four applications were refused at the Planning Committee on 13 October (please see this link for the Committee reports: https://democracy.peakdistrict.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=132&MId=1591&Ver=4 ).
My purpose in writing to you is to express my concern at the works that have been carried out to the track which serves these buildings. I should say that the works are likely to be “permitted development” and would not require planning permission under Part 9 of the General Permitted Development Order 2015, which allows improvement and repair works to tracks, so we do not think that there has been a breach of planning regulations. I am also aware that you have received permission from Kirklees Council, as Highway Authority, for the works. I understand that this was subject to agreement on the precise stone to be used in the surfacing works. Notwithstanding this, we have received several complaints about the extent and appearance of the work that has been carried out, particularly the colour and size of the surfacing material, which is very light and fine textured, giving an inappropriate compacted appearance covering the whole width of the track. Given that this is a popular bridleway in a relatively wild area, these works are out of keeping with the appearance and enjoyment of the area.
I have been advised that the works were carried out either by or on behalf of Yorkshire Water, but that you may have been involved; I do not have a contact at Yorkshire Water so I would be grateful if you would let me know who I should contact if it is not you. I think it is important for me to say that the works to the track do not change the National Park Authority’s position regarding the principle of re-introducing a residential use to Greaves Head and Bartin, as the reports to Planning Committee should make clear.
Finally, I would ask that you or Yorkshire Water consider carrying out works to reduce the harsh and inappropriate appearance of the track following the resurfacing works.