Regular readers will already be aware of the sorry and obstructed state of Huddersfield Byway 231The cost of doing nothing. Kirklees Council’s poor performance in asserting and protecting the publics legal rights to use the byway have effectively led to its stopping up.
A planning application ( 2017/62/91733/W) has been submitted to Kirklees council for the conversion of agricultural buildings to form 4 dwellings adjacent to the byway. The applicant is the owner of Nether Moor Farm who has admitted responsibility (with the council’s implicit encouragement I would argue) for obstruction of Huddersfield Byway 231. See here Huddersfield Byway 231 Obstructions
The only access to Nether Moor Farm and the proposed development is from Sandy Lane along Huddersfield Byway 231. This Western end of the byway is open to provide farm access but is blocked immediately after the farm.
The planning application’s Design & Access Statement refers to Huddersfield Byway 231 as “an unsurfaced accommodation road”. No direct mention is made to it’s public status.
If you’ve been paying attention you will know that public rights of way are a material consideration in planning applications and as such ought properly to be considered by any applicant and in due course the planning authority. If public rights of way information is not included then logically any such application is lacking and a full public consultation impossible.
Placing a development of 4 dwellings on an unmade public byway will have an impact in terms of a greatly increased flow of traffic and subsequent conflict with pedestrians,riders and cyclists. It will also adversely affect the publicly maintainable unmade surface. Furthermore it is likely to impact negatively on the publics enjoyment of the byway. All perfectly reasonable points which should be brought out and discussed fully in the public consultation.
Perhaps in the case of Huddersfield Byway 231 the applicant believes the byway is now permanently and legitimately closed? Perhaps Kirklees Councils indifferent performance in carrying out it’s simple statutory obligations has given this impression? How can Kirklees Council fairly judge this planning application which omits key information on public rights of way? Is Kirklees Council fit to judge this application when it has itself acted ouside of it’s statutory Highways Act duties for some two years in allowing the stopping up of this popular route?
Answers on a postcard please.
View the application here.
Comments are open until 30th June 2017