Previously on PathWatch we reported on the legal challenge to the order confirmed by the planning inspectorate earlier this year. The order downgrading Huddersfield Byway 231 to a bridleway has been an expensive comedy of errors haplessly performed by Kirklees Council. Not to be undone the Planning Inspectorate went for a nuclear cock up option and have been found to have erred in law. The decision quashing the order is here 27 Nov 19 Sealed Consent Order -approved 21 Nov 19
So the badly drawn byway remains in situ.The planning Inspectorate have advised that “PINS is no longer involved and the matter has now been passed back to Kirklees MBC. It is up to Kirklees MBC to decide what to do next (e.g. abandon the claim or re-investigate the matter with a mind to making a new Order)” Oh dear….
People of Kirklees dig deep. For never has so much been spent by so few and paid for by so many for so long. The cock up generator in civic 3 has spawned a classic.
Regular readers will recall the long saga of Huddersfield Bridleway 231 and the large amounts of public money paid in botched enforcement,court cases and legal advice. Ultimately it became a nice little earner for Leeds City Council and their expert in rights of way who produced an exhaustive report concluding the byway was in fact a bridleway!
The report was enthusiastically endorsed by the Huddersfield planning sub committee, an order made to change the routes status to bridleway, a predictable objection from landowners led to a public inquiry date for late January 2019. So far so good.
And then some one twiddled with the dials on the cock up generator at Civic 3. A new rights of way consultant was hired, presumably to represent Kirklees at the public inquiry. The outcome of this seems to be the unilateral overturning of a democratic committee decision based on an expensive experts report recommending a bridleway to a recommendation that the route is a ..er..footpath.
So that 10 grand to Leeds City Council from the ratepayers of Kirklees was money well spent wasn’t it?
If this was a game of football chants of “you don’t know what you’re doing” would be echoing around the ground.
And the truth is they don’t know what they are doing. Kirklees has spent a small fortune on this case. It touted the Leeds report as an answer which would “inform” future enforcement action. It assured local user groups at every point along the way that the findings of the Leeds report were correct and a chance to resolve this self made problem once and for all.