Holmfirth Footpath 65 Works

HOL 63 repairs July 2020
August 2020 After surface & drainage works by Kirklees
Screenshot (32)
As it was in January 2018

Kirklees have just completed some extensive drainage & resurfacing works to Holmfirth Footpath 63, Old Lane. The works bring back into use a lovely path which should be good now for¬† a generation. Much improved from the wet January day in 2018 when it was surveyed. There is a claim currently logged with kirklees to upgrade the status of the way to bridleway. It’s now in a much better condition for shared use, as it must have originally been.

Thanks Kirklees ūüôā

Not Colne Valley Bridleway 197

CV 198 Wks April 2019
Not Colne Valley Bridleway 197

Kirklees Council has, via several sources, partly funded works on “Colne Valley Bridleway 197” at Eastergate on Marsden Moor. The work has involved laying of reclaimed flagstones to provide a new surface. The council has spent some ¬£53k for materials on this scheme. The bulk of that cash, ¬£45k came from the New Homes Bonus Fund but was approved by a council committee for this use. The remaining ¬£8k came from the limited ¬£55k Prow budget which is the annual revenue budget for rights of way maintenance across Kirklees. The report which led to approval for this expenditure can be read here CVBW197Rep4

The report refers the legal status of the way –

3.4 The legal status of the route remains unchanged. As Highway Authority,
maintenance of the existing surface of the route is the responsibility of the
Council. Maintenance responsibility for the new surfacing would remain with
the council. However, this type of surfacing has been shown to require very
little maintenance.

The flags were laid out on site back in April 2019 and are shown in the photo above. However it should be pointed out that contrary to 3.4 in the report the flags and works have NOT been used on Colne Valley Bridleway 197 but on a “desire line” (shown in photo) some distance away from the legally recorded bridleway.

This raises a few interesting points. Firstly, why has our strapped for cash council spent ¬£8k of a tiny rights of way revenue budget on something that it has no responsibility for? Although the New Homes Bonus Fund cash does not have to be spent on something publicly owned, why not direct that ¬£45k and officer time at one of the many out of repair public paths in Kirklees? There’s plenty in the Colne Valley or what about Ramsden Road for instance? The new flagged bridleway is of course not publicly maintainable as stated in the report. So who is responsible for it? Similarly if a user damaged a bike or had an injury on this section how liable is Kirklees? Kirklees is of course very much liable for the real Colne Valley Bridleway 197 some distance to the north.

This is just the kind of future issue which will pop up¬† when there’s a problem with the flags and no one can decide who should put it right. Once again Kirklees has conjured up a legal mudle where one didn’t previously exist.

CV 198 Wks April 2019-2
Not Colne Valley Bridleway 197



Huddersfield 231 – Committee Approval Making Of Bridleway Order!



Huddersfield Byway 231 Report Goes To Committee 29th July 2020 The proposal to make an order recognising Huddersfield Byway 231 as a bridleway was carried unanimously this afternoon. Over an hours worth of members of the public speaking up for this right of way. Well done!

Ramsden Road Culvert Improvements

Ramsden Rd-4
Ramsden Rd 12_6_20-9


Previously on PathWatch we’ve reported on the poor finishing off and functionality of the new culverts on Ramsden Road. After meeting a senior Kirklees Councillor on site some progress has been made. A number of the culverts have now been lined with stone & fenced off. The culvert which was already eroding back has been retained with stone (first photo). Whilst only 3 of the 8 culverts work correctly this modest progress is welcome.

Rams Rd culvert-2
After. Finished with stone & fenced off.

Defra’s omissions


Environment ministers have a habit of making speeches just before the summer holidays.¬† I wrote yesterday of David Trippier‚Äôs disastrous announcement on common land 30 years ago.¬† Last year Michael Gove spoke to us from the hothouse at Kew, in his final days as environment secretary‚ÄĒand failed to mention public access, a significant part of Defra‚Äôs remit.¬† Last week his successor George Eustice similarly made his heading-for-holidays speech, again without mentioning public access.

You would have thought that with the summer break about to start they might have been thinking about recreation.

HomewardboundnearLaneHead,Horndon,MaryTavy Riders near Lane End on Dartmoor

George Eustice did announce that Defra would be ‚Äėinvesting ¬£4m in a two-year pilot to¬†bring green prescribing to four urban and rural areas that have been hit the hardest by coronavirus‚Äô, which presumably has an access element‚ÄĒbut this is too little too late.

IMG_6440 Walkers near Otley in west Yorkshire

Green prescribing has…

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Dover Lane, Holmfirth Repaired!

Dover Lane
After ūüôā

It looks like¬†Hippo Tourism Comes To Dover Lane, Holmfirth. is now a non starter and all those hippos will be unpacking their trunks (isn’t that elephants? Ed.) and having a staycation in the Gambia.

Yes pathpickers, Dover Lane, Holmfirth Footpath 195, has been repaired by Kirklees and is now very dry and a pleasure to walk on.  Excellent job! Well done and thank you to the staff involved.

Before ūüė¶

Huddersfield Byway 231 Report Goes To Committee 29th July 2020

Byway 221 obstruction 4 (1 of 1)

The long running case of Huddersfield Byway 231 returns to committee next week with an officer recommendation to make an order downgrading the route to bridleway status. Details of the meeting and report can be viewed here . Regular readers may recall a similar order ultimately failing at the last hurdle Huddersfield Byway 231. Order To Downgrade To Bridleway Fails.

Further useful information.

The above is to be presented to the Virtual Meeting, Strategic Planning Committee at 1pm on 29 July 2020.  Below is a link to the agenda, report and documents.


Please note that any members of the public who wish to speak at the meeting must register to speak by 5.00pm (for phone requests) or 11:59pm (for email requests) by no later than Monday 27 July 2020.

To pre-register, please email governance.planning@kirklees.gov.uk or phone Richard Dunne on 01484 221000 (Extension 74995). 

As this is a virtual meeting please include in your email the telephone number that you intend to use when addressing the Committee. You will receive details on how to speak at the meeting in your acknowledgement email.   

Alternatively, we would encourage members of the public who do not wish to use the telephone option to email their written submissions to governance.planning@kirklees.gov.uk to be received no later than 12:00 pm Tuesday 28 July 2020.

Planning Inspectorate Confirm Sellars Clough order

Pule (1 of 1)

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.

Holmfirth Footpath 60- Kirklees Strategic Director Karl Battersby Gave Advice On Diversion & Visited Site


Readers may recall the proposed diversion of Holmfirth Footpath 60 at Wolfstones¬†here and¬†here¬†. The dreadful proposal was of course thrown out at Committee but what the public do not know is the degree of senior input behind the scenes on this proposal. It has come to light that one of Kirklees Council’s most senior members of staff, Strategic Director Karl Battersby, visited the site of the proposed diversion with the landowners agent in summer 2019. There’s nothing wrong with that per se but it seems questionable to send out a strategic director on around ¬£130k¬† when the staff employed to do this work are experts and much much cheaper. Surely Mr Battersby has far more pressing issues to deal with than the diversion of a rural footpath near Holmfirth?

PathWatch has been unable to establish the cost to Kirklees council tax payers of Mr Battersby’s visit and advice¬† because,wait for it, there is no record of such senior officers logging time to recharge codes associated with such diversions. The council can legally recharge it’s reasonable costs involved in processing diversions. Why has it not done so in this case? If Mr Battersby is routinely involved in footpath diversion applications what is the cost of this work and is it ever recharged?


Here is one of Mr Battersby’s detailed (redacted) emails as an example of the degree of involvement and advice supplied. Clearly there has been time & effort & public resources spent on this but not recharged. It should be noted that the proposed footway section on the road was not actually part of the proposed diversion order that the Planning Sub Committee were voting on. Ironically at no point in this or any other of the emails PathWatch has seen does Mr Battersby actually refer to the Proposed Diversion Route. Arguably this shows the weakness of the proposal itself.

From: Karl Battersby <Karl.Battersby@kirklees.gov.uk>
Sent: 27 December 2019 12:07
To: xxxxxxxx
Cc: xxxxxxxx
Subject: RE: Wolfstone Heights Farm
Good afternoon morning xxx. I have now had chance to meet with xxx and xxx to
discuss your mail. Firstly, this is really simple in my view, and doesn’t need to tie up a
suggested agreement in conditions and demands.This is a finely balanced decision, and for me the thing which helps tip the balance is an improvement to the surface which we would be expecting the public to walk on between the current and proposed ends of footpath 60. The reality is that as it currently stands this is not a great link, given the gradient and nature of the road, and we would not really want people to walk on the road if possible ( which they would be encouraged to do when the grass verge is muddy and churned up). That is the reason for suggesting an improved surface. If you recall, this is something I suggested when we met in the summer on site.
The report will assess the benefits of the proposal, and will of course summarise and
comment on the comments received both for and against.The intention would be that the requirement to improve the verge would only bite once the order were made and was capable of being brought into force, which would limit abortive expense should the order not be confirmed (either by the Council or Secretary
of State).
I have now seen the images that xxxx has been produced, and am comfortable in
principle that this looks acceptable, and overcomes my concerns about the road section,
although the planter should be removed so the proposed footway links to the current
end of footpath 60. We would just need to agree the spec and provision of the work, and
have no issue with xxxxx commissioning the works, if that is more cost effective.
will liaise with colleagues in highways.
In terms of the order itself, the matter will be presented to the 30th January meeting
with a positive recommendation to make the order. Should members resolve to support
making of the order, and once publicised we receive objections ( which is highly likely),
then our recommendation would be to place it before the Secretary of State, with all the
necessary paperwork. It would then be a matter for yourselves to present the case in
support of confirmation. I am advised that this is appropriate and in accordance with
guidelines. Members could of course decide that they would wish us to defend the
matter should it proceed to the Secretary of State, which would also be an option
included in the report. Should members be supportive in principle, then I am sure this
issue will be discussed at the meeting.
Hopefully we can now place the matter before Committee and put it to bed.
Karl Battersby
Strategic Director, Economy and Infrastructure
Kirklees Council
Email; karl.battersby@kirklees.gov.uk





A helpful act for paths

30 years on from the “Rights of Way” Act 1990 but here in Kirklees they haven’t heard of it!


In November 1987, the late Brett Collier, the Lincolnshire Ramblers’ path-champion, led the Conservative MP for Gainsborough and Horncastle, Edward Leigh, on a walk across local farmland.  Edward saw at first hand the constant issues which walkers and riders in the county faced: ploughed and deeply-rutted paths across large fields, unrestored and unmarked.  At another time of year he would have had to negotiate impenetrable crops.

This outing was a wise move on Brett’s part.  Three years later Edward came fifth in the ballot for private member’s bills.  Remembering his walk he turned to the Ramblers for advice on the bill he might introduce.

Draft bill
Coincidentally, the Ramblers had been working with other organisations on legislation to strengthen the law against ploughing and cropping of paths and were able to hand him a draft bill.¬† He introduced this into parliament‚ÄĒand the result was the Rights of Way Act, which‚Ķ

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