Kirklees publish a weekly list of planning applications affecting public rights of way. They are required to do this under the Town & Country Planning (Development Control Procedure) (England) Order 2015 Notice Under Article 15. Often the effects of these applications on prows is fairly minor and at other times it can be the end of a lovely well used rural or semi rural path. This procedure is the public’s opportunity to comment. PathWatch will endeavour to share the list on a regular basis. Have a look, there may be a path you use on here. Commenting is free and who knows they might take it on board.
This weeks paths are as follows. Huddersfield FP 390 Birkby Hall Road. Huddersfield FP 298 Bull Green Road. Huddersfield FP 62 Dalton Bank Road. Holmfirth FP 139 Butt Lane,Hepworth. Huddersfield FP 343 New North Road. Denby Dale FP 61 Cliff Hill (Major development). Dewsbury FP 107 Heckmondwike Road. Spen 41,44,46 Hunsworth Lane. Batley FP 37 Hanging Heaton. Mirfield FP 12 Northorp Lane.
Back in 2020 PathWatch reported briefly on some dodgy doings to the surface of Meltham Bridleway 50. In short the lovely and rightly popular bridleway had been dug up and poorly reinstated with large sized aggregate. Lots of users from all groups reported the matter as it was happening.
The Peak Park who are the planning authority visited the site and concluded that planning permission was needed for the works. Nothing has been heard from them since. Kirklees visited and did manage to halt any further work. That was the peak of their activity and interest.
So almost 2 years later and nothing has been done to put this bridleway back into a usable condition for the public to enjoy . Regular readers will recognise the pattern here. It goes like this. Damage or obstruction to a public right of way. Flurry of complaints from the public. Visits from numerous council staff (and in this case the national park). Then nothing.
PathWatch will be back in 2 years with a further update. Probably a cut and paste job.
Kirklees are currently consulting on the proposed diversion of Spen Footpath 24 in relation to this planning application. The planning application (for a rather large Amazon distribution centre) has yet to be approved. Kirklees are advertising this consultation under s257 of the Town & Country Planning Act. This section is for orders where a planning application has been approved. In fact orders for diversions ahead of full planning permissions being granted ought to be under s257 (1A). The impression this consultation gives is that the development is approved and it is not. Details of the consultation should be here
Needless to say it’s a dog’s dinner and something you’d probably never want to walk down. For further information the Save Our Spen is a must visit.
Calderdale are currently advertising an informal consultation to extinguish Halifax Bridleway 483 under s257 of The Town & Country Planning Act 1990. Unfortunately for them the development at Maltings Road which they approved in 2006 is complete! Therefore this legislation should not be used. Back to the drawing board for them on this one then.
There’s some shoddy practice going on here in attempting to simply remove a bridleway which they themselves have allowed to be built over. This little area is a goldmine for this type of cock up.
Interestingly since this site was given planning permission in 2006 the adjacent green and wooded area has been identified as a potential development site. One can only wonder if the Bridleway extinguishment and this are related? Obviously, I think we should be told.
Previously on PathWatch we reported on the sad demise of Holmfirth Bridleway 94 which appears to have been subsumed into Windy Hill Quarry despite a lack of planning permission. Not to worry, the issue was reported as it was happening by many local users over a period from September 2021 onward. Oh hang on that’s wrong. Do worry, for neither Kirklees Planning or Rights of Way have taken any effective action on the ground over the intervening 8 months. This sort of situation always seems to blindside the bureaucrats. It’s not like problems of this nature haven’t happened before!
Kirklees Planning should have served a stop notice on the quarry last year as soon as they became aware of the works outside the quarry, on greenbelt land and on a public bridleway. This lack of action implies that planners aren’t that bothered and are happy to dump the issue on an overstretched Prow section. Meanwhile as can be seen above the bridleway is now unusable.
Ironically the Strategic Director who is responsible for Kirklees rights of way (Mr Parr) has recently been quoted in a propaganda article saying “We have nearly 1,900 PRoWs in the District, which our small team monitor. When residents tell us about the PRoWs being blocked or overgrown it is a great help.” Well lots of residents have contacted Kirklees about the loss of this bridleway and hardly anyone has heard a thing let alone get the bridleway back!
The article is here and of course it’s very good that a path has been cleared but the truth is this particular path was cleared fairly regularly prior to 2012 and there was never a problem with it until the council stopped doing it. Dealing with problems like Bridleway 94 and the many others featured on this blog requires a set of policies, procedures and resources to be directed promptly as issues arise. There is no good reason why Bridleway 94 should not have been reinstated within a 6 month timescale other than a complete lack of gumption and management at Kirklees which ultimately sits on Mr Parr’s doorstep.
Why not let Mr Parr know that Bridleway 94 is blocked – Colin.Parr@kirklees.gov.uk As he says “It’s a great help”
There have been increasing problems of obstruction and surface damage to Holmfirth Bridleway 94 since Kirklees granted planning permission to permit more quarry HGV access to the site. User groups made some reasonable comments on this application at the time, suggesting a speed limit, signage and a priority system putting non motorised users at the top. All ignored,of course.
Although the bridleway forms access to the quarry it is outside the red line boundary of the planning applications. There has been no planning application as far as PathWatch can see for any works to Bridleway 94. Although the quarry sites are industrial, Bridleway 94 remains in the greenbelt.
It is something of a surprise then to see that the bridleway is being subject to some civil engineering works to both widen it and lower the level by up to 3 metres in places. Ironically in the supporting information for the planning application the applicant states “the HGV access route (bridleway 94) contains grass verges on both sides providing step off areas for pedestrians and cyclists should a HGV be travelling along the track.” These verges are now either 2 metres or more in the air or gone. The bridleway sign has also disappeared.
There’s some rather large plant operating on the bridleway at present with no consideration at all for the safety of public users.
Yet another example, if one were needed, of Kirklees not properly considering public rights of way in the planning process. The bridleway is barely mentioned and clearly not seen as a valuable public amenity. There’s nothing put in place to protect the route and as everyone knows Kirklees are useless at enforcement be it in planning or public rights of way.
PathWath will report further on this issue but suspect Kirklees will deal with genuine public concerns via the usual evasion, incompetence and platitudes.
See below for ignored comment on Planning Application.
Previously on PathWatch we highlighted an environmentally damaging proposal to construct a permanent vehicular access track to Black Moss & Swellands Reservoirs in the Kirklees bit of the Peak Park.
The proposal was turned down at the Peak Park Planning Committee on 6th August 2021 on the following grounds.
- The public safety issue does not create an Imperative Reason of Over-riding Public Interest justifying a permanent track through the Natural Zone;
- Alternative solutions have not been explored thoroughly enough given what is understood to be required (in terms of building work and regular maintenance) such that the requirement to demonstrate that there are no alternative solutions has not been fully made out to the satisfaction of members, in particular by use of a temporary track; and
- Insufficient satisfaction that the proposals would result in acceptable impacts on this peatland habitat and in particular on nesting birds.
The committee item can be viewed here . Well done to the Peak District National Park!
Holmfirth 146 a few days after planning permission was granted.
Don’t panic. This is definitely a case of ramblers living happily ever after. We have of course been put through the usual ordeal of trial by planning permissions, obstruction, excavation and comedy gates but FP 146 has survived!
In fact it has a new life as a field path away from the old farm and on a much more rambler friendly line with gates! Think of these diversions as a witness protection scheme for footpaths and you get the gist.
Following the resolution of objections to the order and corrections to errors in the order the Planning Inspectorate has now confirmed the new route. All the details from our chap at the Ministry .
The above plan shows a development site off Kenmore View, Cleckheaton. For the development to go ahead the public paths shown by solid black lines will be closed and the rather less direct dashed lines will be newly created paths. The consultation plan looks something like an entry into the Turner prize in this context. The Google screenshot below gives a little more focus showing the green nature of the site deep in the urban jungle of Cleckheaton. The bulldozers have already been there by the look of it.
An area of green space containing informal paths is priceless in an area like this. The many local objections and claims to have these paths put on the Definitive Map give an indication of local feelings. Sadly, it looks like the direct original paths will be swept away before ever being recorded to be replaced by those meandering dashes going nowhere around buildings.
Links to the plan and reason statement are below. Details of the proposal should be on the council’s website here