In the latest chapter of this sorry saga Kirklees Council have attempted to wash their hands of the dumping here by claiming that the “landowner” has “used hardcore to improve the footings and drainage of the Prow” (Footpath 144) . When your sides have stopped aching at that one the council go on to say that the “landowner has permission from the Environment Agency” to do this. The only evidence provided for these claims is this link which tells you absolutely nothing about this site,who is responsible for the works and under what authority they are operating. Path Watch has of course contacted the Environment Agency to check this out.
The Council’s latest position omits to mention or explain why it has allowed the complete obstruction of Colne Valley Footpath 144 for some 5 months now. The duty the council has under s130 of the Highways Act 1980 to assert & protect the rights of the public to use public paths and to prevent their stopping up has been ignored yet again.
Whatever permission the landowner has from the Environment Agency it will not extend to obstructing and destroying the public footpath here.
It’s interesting to note how the council’s story is evolving. Firstly they ignored reports of the dumping for 3 months. Then they said the dumping had been removed. Then they said they’d given permission for it to be buried. Now they are saying the Environment Agency have given permission for burying waste on Footpath 144.
As for the claims that the path has been improved- the first photo below shows how it looked in June and the following photos record what has happened since.