When is a gate not a gate 3

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The obstructed gate is top rightish in this photo where the wood is.
Following on from yesterday’s episode we contacted Yorkshire Water again to highlight the lack of progress.
I have walked this path again today and no attempt has been made to clear the boulders.
Could you please clarify if Yorkshire Water itself are responsible for the land and obstruction or whether it is entirely the Tennant’s responsibility?
I have also reported the issue to Kirklees Council but have heard nothing.
As such I believe I can myself serve a notice on the Council for removal of the obstructions and they are obliged to serve notice on the persons responsible hence my query above.
The issue would ultimately be resolved at Huddersfield Magistrate Court should the obstructions remain.
Regards
The following response was received this morning. As is the way with official bodies it doesn’t answer what was asked but seems slightly panicky and defensive.

Thank you for notifying this.

I have made numerous attempts to the tenant and still nothing has been
done.

Myself and another colleague are looking into this. As we will need to take
action on this matter.

So Yorkshire Water are “looking into this” and “will need to take action”. That’s a little disappointing considering the length of time this difficult obstruction has now been in place and the degree of inconvenience which is being caused to the public.
We contacted Yorkshire Water directly as the Highway Authority, Kirklees Council, seems to have disregarded its own legal obligations with regard to public rights of way  and enforcement. The hope was that Yorkshire Water would be able to sort out this relatively straightforward issue in a timely manner by speaking directly to its Tenant.
However Kirklees Council, who are responsible for the footpath and for keeping it open and available for public use were informed on 17th July 2017 of the obstruction. They very helpfully and gave us our own unique reference number.
Your unique reference number is: 3578243
Your request will be dealt with as soon as possible. Kind regards,
Kirklees Council
Since we’ve heard nothing further we contacted Kirklees Council again today and they very helpfully gave us another unique reference number!
Your unique reference number is: 3590269
Your request will be dealt with as soon as possible. Kind regards,
Kirklees Council
The point of all this is to demonstrate how under valued and increasingly forgotten our public rights of way network  is becoming. No one wants to know. There is no self remedy here. The boulders need a machine to move them and most walkers don’t carry that kind of kit!
Kirklees Council is super keen at the moment on people volunteering in its parks,open spaces and public rights of way Natural Kirklees. It seems to be a one way street with the council  happily taking  free labour and publicity but refusing to carry out the work which volunteers cannot do such as removal of illegal obstructions. You can of course have as many unique reference numbers as you wish!
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When is a gate not a gate? 2

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Holmfirth Footpath 188 on Yorkshire Water land in the Peak District National Park

This original approach to obstructing a public footpath,Holmfirth Footpath 188 on the Kirklees Way and in the Peak District National Park,was discovered and reported to the landowner Yorkshire Water on 4 July 2017. Yorkshire Water got back to us the same day with a straightforward and positive response.

This is YWS land and I have emailed the Tenant asking him to remove the obstruction.”

Job sorted then? You’d have thought it would only take a matter of minutes to drive down with the machine that placed the stones there and remove them?

Unfortunately not. It seems it is a relatively easy task to source large boulders from the old quarry nearby, to move them one by one down a rough track and place them neatly in order to completely block a public footpath. But not so easy to shove them aside.

As the path was still obstructed on 12th July despite Yorkshire Water’s positive response we contacted them again to be told.

“I have contacted the landowner today to ask him to remove the obstruction.
However this may take a few weeks.”
We walked the path again this afternoon (quite a few weeks later) to find the boulders still in place.
It does make Yorkshire Water’s invitation on their website  to “come and explore” ring a little hollow.

As one of Yorkshire’s biggest landowners, Yorkshire Water take care of 72,000 acres of stunning countryside and invite you to come and explore it.

Whether you fancy a gentle stroll around a reservoir, a bike ride with the family, a bit of pony trekking or an afternoon’s fishing or sailing, there’s plenty to choose from.

Opening up our land for you is part of our Blueprint for Yorkshire, our plan to take even better care of our little part of the world.

Bartin & Greave Planning Update 1

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Bartin

The heather’s in bloom on Goodbent Moor and the old farmstead of Bartin is part of this beautiful landscape.

We’re told by the Peak Park planners that the applications (Bartin & Greaves Planning Applications) to “develop” the sites at Bartin and Greave Farms will now be decided at the Planning Committee in Bakewell on 8th September 2017.

Useful information should you wish to attend.

If a planning application is going to be considered by our planning committee, the authority’s public participation scheme allows anyone who requests to speak at the meeting to make their points directly to the people who make the decision (called the members).

You can ask a question, make a statement or hand in a petition on any item on the committee agenda. You will be allocated a time slot of three minutes and you may be asked questions about what you say.

You need to make a request by 12 noon two working days before the meeting by contacting Democratic Services by telephone on 01629 816 362 or 01629 816 382 or email democratic.services@peakdistrict.gov.uk.”

When is a gate not a gate?

 

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Holmfirth 188 and the new rockery.

The old iron gate on Holmfirth 188 has long had a rather rustic arrangement for walkers to get through. For as long as I can remember the gate has been pegged ajar with a metal stake just wide enough for a walker to squeeze through but too narrow for a sheep or cattle. It seems to have worked pretty well for the past 30 years both for the farmer and walkers heading along this lovely part of the Kirklees Way.

Nothing lasts forever and we now have a very new gritstone obstacle course consisting of three hefty boulders placed in such a manner around the gate that it is actually impossible to squeeze through what was always a tight gap.

Now I’m not a huge advocate of british standard specifications for stiles and gates in locations such as this and enjoy the wide range of solutions farmers come up with to keep land stock proof whilst allowing walkers to pass. The new arrangement here fails that most basic standard of allowing free passage and amounts to an obstruction of the public footpath.It needs changing as soon as possible.

The most striking aspect of the work carried out here is the time and trouble gone to in sourcing the stones, getting them into this location and arranging them in such a way. It must of taken hours to do! I rather think it would have been more cost effective for the landowner to nip along to the gate with a drill, couple of new hinges and a latch to properly rehang the gate.

It’s worth pondering how anyone could have such disregard for public access along a public footpath in the Peak District National Park. The path is on the popular Kirklees Way and links the Holme Valley with the Pennine Way. I’m sure if whoever has built this obstruction had approached the Peak Park or the landowner,Yorkshire Water assistance or advice would have been given on the best course of action to maintain public access   and keep the land stock proof. A kissing gate for instance?

Meltham Footpath 21

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Meltham Footpath 21

Just a couple of footsteps along Meltham Footpath 21 and away from Huddersfield Road transports the walker into a typically English green space. A tall holly hedge full of blackbirds, butterflies amongst the uncut grass, the sound of running water from a hidden beck and shady woodland ahead.

These places are all the more valuable because of their closeness to centres of population. And they are all the more vulnerable because of that proximity and access to the roads,motorways and industry that goes with it.

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Meltham Footpath 21

I see the public footpath, hedge , beck and open space as having a value beyond money. By putting one foot in front of the other we can all benefit from these places both physically and mentally. In an increasingly angry, distressed,obese and diabetic society this stock exchange of the countryside can only rise.

The current speculative planning application  to potentially build on this land is likely to lead to the loss of Meltham Footpath 21 and it’s green open space. In the greater scheme of things this is not the end of the world but look around and you will see many public green corners like this going under the bulldozer. Just a few fields walk away Meltham Footpath 26 has disappeared beneath a building site.

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Meltham Footpath 26. No more walking to school dodging cowpats and puddles.

Will this be the fate of Meltham Footpath 21?

Comments on the application are open until 14th July 2017.

Comment here.

Meltham Footpath 21 under threat

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A Meltham Rainbow

This is a cheeky little effort affecting Meltham Footpath 21 and the lovely green field which the footpath crosses. The Meltham Greenway also borders one side of the site and the field is designated as provisional open land in the Kirklees Unitary Development plan and would not normally be subject to development. The developers justifications for the site do make interesting reading and once again it would appear that Kirklees is failing to do things properly which in turn leads to threats to countryside access.

The planning permission applied for is for an access only to the site from Huddersfield Road and appears in reality an attempt to establish the principle of development on the site. There is no serious consideration of Meltham Footpath 21, the Greenway or loss of the open space.

The application can be viewed here.

Meltham Footpath 21 Planning Application 

Comments are open until 13th July 2017

Bartin & Greave applications to be determined at Committee on 11th August

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Bartin

The Bartin & Greaves Planning Applications for developing the two farmsteads which affect long stretches of Holmfirth Bridleways 69 and 189 will be determined by the Peak District National Park Planning Committee on 11th August 2017.

Members of the public can speak at planning committee and have 3 minutes to make a point! This is the process for attending as shown on the park’s website

If a planning application is going to be considered by our planning committee, the authority’s public participation scheme allows anyone who requests to speak at the meeting to make their points directly to the people who make the decision (called the members).

You can ask a question, make a statement or hand in a petition on any item on the committee agenda. You will be allocated a time slot of three minutes and you may be asked questions about what you say.

You need to make a request by 12 noon two working days before the meeting by contacting Democratic Services by telephone on 01629 816 362 or 01629 816 382 or email democratic.services@peakdistrict.gov.uk.”

The planning committee meets at Aldern House Baslow Road Bakewell Derbyshire DE45 1AE which makes it a bit of a day out from Holmfirth 🙂

The consultation period was extended for a month due to an “administrative error” which led to the required press adverts not being placed.