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Big row over small Oakenshaw footpath
A big row has started over a small footpath in Oakenshaw.
The footpath, which runs between Dyehouse Road and Cleckheaton Road, was temporarily closed off in 2011 to allow a developer to build six new homes on an old car park.
According to the plans the path was to be reopened once work was complete.
But now the development is finished, the footpath hasn’t reopened for “security reasons” and a permanent fence has been put up blocking the way.
Locals say the snicket had been in use for around 100 years, and have now set up a group called Hands Off Our Footpath (HOOF) to campaign for it to be opened up again.
However, as the path is not on the register of official rights of way, Bradford Council says its hands are tied.
A letter to the group, from Rights Of Way officer Fiona Plane, says: “I have contacted the developer to ask that the path be reopened now that work is finished but they have refused on the grounds that the route is not recorded as having public rights as so they are not legally obliged to do so.
“As things stand, with the route not fully investigated and proven to be a public right of way, we have no basis to enforce its opening.”
HOOF is now in the process of trying to get the path registered as an official right of way.
One of the campaigners, Mike Healey, said they would have got it registered sooner had they known it was going to close.
He said: “It had never occurred to us to register it. We never thought there would be a problem.”
A statement from developer Patrick Barrett, of the B2 Property Group and Barrett and Barrett Architects, said: “The footpath was originally closed during construction for safety reasons.
“It was not an official Council designated footpath and will remain closed for security reasons.”
HOOF has sent a 73-signature petition to the Council’s chief executive, Tony Reeves, calling for the authority to take action.
The group will meet with the Council’s assistant director for planning, Julian Jackson, on October 28.
Mr Jackson said: “We are holding discussions over this path with a view to resolving the issue to the satisfaction of all parties involved.
“The footpath between Dyehouse Road and Cleckheaton Road is not listed as an official right of way.
“We have received an application to consider recording it as such but there are various issues relating to the route which will need to be resolved before progress can be made.”