Kirkless Prow Unit “Stops Short” Of Objecting To 30 HGV’s A Day On Cartworth Moor Road.

Cartworth Moor Road. Once a lovely walk.

Previously on PathWatch we’ve highlighted the destruction of Holmfirth Bridleway 94 which a year later still remains closed for “repairs” and also the retrospective planning application to increase HGV moments to 30 (previously 8 then 16) a day on Cartworth Moor Road. Cartworth Moor Road is unmade in character and it’s main use is recreational by cyclists, riders and walkers. It’s part of the Kirklees Way and Holme Valley Circular Walk. A lovely place to watch and listen to Curlew and Lapwing in the spring.

The Planning Application will result in Holmfirth BW 94 no longer being used as access to Windy Ridge Quarry but this is meaningless as the HGV traffic is and will continue to cause the same problems for walkers, riders and cyclists on Cartworth Moor Road.

The road has been badly damaged already by vehicles and what was once a lovely quiet walk in the countryside is now becoming unusable and hazardous to non motorised users. That the Prow Unit are unable to articulate this in an objection is extremely disappointing.

HGV damage to Cartworth Moor Road
HGV damage to Cartworth Moor Road

The final paragraph of the Prow Units comments show what anyone who cares about good quality green access for the public is up against. “Basically, chuck some road plannings down, make a couple of passing places and let vulnerable users take their chances. Bollocks to the countryside while we’re at it”

The PROW team shares the concerns raised by the British Horse Society (BHS) regarding the increased number of HGV movement above that currently (from 16 to 30), including the potential impact on the surface of this route
and the potential for conflict between vulnerable users and vehicular traffic. However, we stop short of objecting to this increase should the suggested passing places and other surface improvement be carried out.

Kirklees should be doing everything it can in this case to protect the greenbelt and the public’s enjoyment and safety on this lovely old road.

The full prow response can be read here

HGV’s To Increase To 30 Per Day On Cartworth Moor Road?

Kirklees have already increased HGV movement from 8 to 16 per day. Could it now be 30?

A new planning application seeks to extend and deepen the quarry at Windy Hill on Cartworth Moor. Holmfirth Bridleway 94 has been destroyed at this site and remains closed as a result.

The new application would result in some 30 HGV’s a day accessing the quarry via Cartworth Moor Road. This road is unmade and a very popular walking, cycling and riding route through greenbelt land. Kirklees did not consider non motorised users of Bridleway 94 and Cartworth Moor Road last time around with predictable results of damage and conflict.

Comments on the application can be made here up to the 13th December 2022.

Whoops there goes Holmfirth Bridleway 94.

Sub Prime Diversion For Spen 24 Update 1

Previously on PathWatch we reported on the Sub Prime diversion proposals for Spen 24. PathWatch described the proposal as a “dogs dinner that you probably wouldn’t want to walk down”. In more considered terms a Kirklees officer describes the proposal thus “The attached proposal for Spenborough 24 doesn’t look great at first sight.The affected path forms part of the Spen Valley Heritage Trail and is of particular local interest and standing”. This a correct view of the proposal and tagging on a bit of bridleway and a link to the Greenway does not mitigate the mess about to be made of this rightly popular footpath.

Local authorities have often conflicting responsibilities between development and protecting countryside access. However in this case the agreed local plan was for a much smaller development at this site which would have had less of an effect on Spen 24. Why has that changed?

Our glorious leader and sometime hotelier Councillor Pandor was involved in controversy over allegations that a consultation by the developer was delayed until after the 2021 local elections. Coincidentally, an election that Councillor Pandor was standing in ! The scandal was reported in the Dewsbury Reporter and the Rotton Boroughs section of Private Eye.

At the present time Kirklees Council have undertaken a preliminary consultation on the diversion which ended on 28th July 2022. It was pointed out to Kirklees that carrying out such a consultation looked a bit dodgy as there was no approved planning permission affecting the path. Some 4 months later and the consultation looks very iffy as the Planning Application has been reopened for consultation until 5th December 2022 due to new documents/changes to the proposals. See here.

In effect the public have been asked to comment on a proposed diversion some 4 months before all the proposals materially affecting the footpath have been received and considered by the local authority. Great if you have a crystal ball but otherwise a situation that fundamentally undermines the process. Is this the way Kirklees officers now work? Is there some political interference here? Where is that smell coming from?

The public may be taken for fools by our council but the applicants are treated very well. The small and understaffed Prow Unit who deal with diversion applications have put in a huge amount of work to move the application forward. All free of charge of course! (Well not to the public) This FOI release shows just how much work has been done to date . No wonder there are no resources for Definitive Map work!

Please visit Save Our Spen for full information and how to object before 5th December

Every Little Helps – PUBLIC FOOTPATH DIVERSION ORDER HIGHWAYS ACT 1980 KIRKLEES COUNCIL (MELTHAM PUBLIC FOOTPATH 26 (PART) AND MEL THAM PUBLIC FOOTPATH 79 (PART) AT WM MORRISON STORE, STATION STREET, MELTHAM) PUBLIC PATH DIVERSION ORDER 2022

Previously on PathWatch we reported on the diversion order at the Morrisson’s site in Meltham. Following an objection to the order the applicant has agreed to widen and surface the section of Footpath 79 from Station Road to the store. This section is part of the Meltham Greenway and carries permissive cycling rights. It will now be 2.7m wide, the same as the original path.

Every little helps as Tesco say.

Holmfirth 31 – Another One Bites The Dust.

Farewell Holmfirth 31

The bulldozers have now moved on to Holmfirth Footpath 31 in connection with an approved planning permission for housing. Footpath 31 has always been popular with locals and is also part of the Holme Valley Riverside Way. The fields it crosses were some of the last remaining undeveloped green spaces along Woodhead Road. Although the land has long been earmarked for development it was used for silage until fairly recently and Barn Owls have hunted over the ground during recent winters. It’s always sad to see public access,wildlife habitat and local character disappear in this way.

Footpath 31 is currently temporarily closed while there are works on site. It will reopen as a tarmac path along side the housing estate and with a road crossing it. A shadow of its former self.

New Prow Status Discovered In Meltham!

Wonders never cease….

PathWatch can reveal a new status of public right of way has evolved in the petri dish of cock ups that is Kirklees Council. The new status is known as “Relief Bridleway”. The Frankenstein status has come about through a rogue planning condition subsequently discharged by planning officers.

The resulting horror (pictured above) has led to the tarmacking of the legal bridleway.The “relief bridleway” is crudely stitched on like an ill fitting, unusable limb. Neither creation is particularly attractive or user friendly.

The rogue planning condition.

Planning Applications Affecting Prows In Kirklees

This one had no planning permission!

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.

Meltham Bridleway 50 Update.

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.

Sub Prime Diversion Proposal For Spen 24

The long winded diversion.

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.