Previously on PathWatch we’ve highlighted the destruction of Holmfirth Bridleway 94 which a year later still remains closed for “repairs” and also the retrospectiveplanning 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.
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.
Kirklees have recently confirmed that they have identified suitable gates for Ramsden Road and the adjoining Yateholme lanes at a cost of £44K. There is budget for this which must be spent by the end of March 2023. The clear implication is that the botched Public Space Protection Order may be resuscitated around this time if a pulse can be found. Time will tell.
The council also say that agreement has been reached with Yorkshire Water regarding drainage off Ramsden Road onto Yorkshire Water land. Tellingly, there’s no mention or even a hint of a timescale for repairs in their latest missive.
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.
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
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.
Previously on PathWatch we reported on Kirklees buying some 500 new Footpath signs . These signs are now being put up across the district and they are very noticeable on the many poles which have been missing signs for some time. Plans are also being made to erect new poles and signs. Paths need to be visible so this is good news indeed.
Front line staff operate in difficult conditions.This work will be appreciated by many users. Thank you 🙂
The old box top Public Footpath sign and pole at the start of Holmfirth Footpath 66 has been half inched this week. These signs are some of the originals from the 1950’s and 60’s. Part and parcel of West Yorkshire paths. Shame someone would nick it 😦
Holme Valley Parish Council have been involved for several years in an attempt to improve the Ramsden Road area for residents and users who are suffering from 4×4 misuse. Kirklees appear to be largely ignoring the genuine approach by the Parish Council. So much so that the council has felt it necessary to write a letter asking if there is anybody there at Kirklees.
The item is on the Parish Council agenda for 31st October and is copied and pasted below. It will be interesting to see if a response is received from the “other side”, so to speak.
Planning Committee Meeting – 31/10/2022 Page 4 of 5 v. Ramsden Road
As reported previously, Cllr Wilson wrote 26 August 2022 to Will Acornley who is the Kirklees Director overseeing the implementation of the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) and the physical installation of barriers. Cllr Wilson received no response. Hence, 14 October 2022 he wrote to the Kirklees Chief Executive, Jacqui Gedman; Kirklees Strategic Director, Colin Parr; and Kirklees Service Director, Julie Muscroft to ask if Will Acornley was still in post and to ask for an update. At the time of this agenda being posted, Cllr Wilson had yet to receive a reply. Cllr Wilson to report. To consider any further actions at this time.
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.