Following confirmation by the Planning Inspectorate of an order to add this well used footpath to the definitive map the final legal appeal window has now closed. The public footpath exists in law and should be available for public use. Of course it is still blocked by locked gates and numerous intimidating signs.
Despite a strong and successful public claim for the right of way, a direction from the Secretary of State to Kirklees to determine the matter, an inquiry by written representations and a confirmed order the situation on the ground is unchanged.
The public are now in the unenviable position of being reliant on the council to open up the path to public use. As readers of PathWatch will know, this isn’t a good place to be. Basically there isn’t a piece of string long enough to measure this kind of timescale.
Nothing will happen on the ground unless a degree of public pressure is exerted on the council. To that end it would be useful if the public contacted the local ward councillors and asked for prompt action to open up the path. The three ward councillors are Rob WalkerLesley Warner and Donna Bellamy
Regular readers may recall the cancelling of a public inquiry into Colne Valley 253 Sellars Clough due to Covid 19 back in June. The mater has been decided by written representations with the inspector confirming the order. A copy of the decision can be viewed here row_3232071_od .
Credit to the diligent work of Peak & Northern Footpaths Society in collecting and presenting the evidence.
The Planning Inspectorate have unsurprisingly cancelled a public inquiry due to be held at Marsden in June. See here row_3232071_on_cancellation . For information here is a copy of the order row_3232071_order_&_map . Cancellation of inquiries and an even bigger backlog of orders at the Planning Inspectorate is likely to be one of the more noticeable effects of the Covid 19 pandemic on rights of way well into the future.
Kirklees are for once ahead of the curve and have been blaming Covid 19 for things not getting done from as far back as 2017! It seems the little strand of RNA can now time travel to assist the Council in excusing past piss poor performance. More on that story later.