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Footpath row reveals backlog of Right of Way cases
8:03am Thursday 26th June 2014 in News
A ROW over a blocked footpath has revealed a huge backlog at Bradford Council's Rights of Way office.
Now one local councillor has accused Bradford Council of failing to "grasp the nettle" and sort out the problem.
A campaign group in Oakenshaw, fighting to have a path recognised as an official right of way, has been waiting for more than a year for their request to be considered.
But they have now been warned that they are still in for a substantial wait.
The group, called Hands Off Our Footpath (HOOF), is pushing for a path between Dyehouse Road and Cleckheaton Road to be re-opened after a developer fenced it off for "security reasons".
They argue that the snicket has been in use for about 100 years before it was blocked, but as it had never been recorded as an official right of way, the Council cannot take enforcement action.
So back in 2012, the group sent in an application for the path to be added to the register.
A new Council report, to update the Bradford South Area Committee on the situation, warns that they are in for a long wait, as "there are a number of similar applications in the queue ahead of this one".
Now ward councillor David Robinson (Ind, Wyke) has called for the backlog to be shifted.
He said: "These things need to be dealt with in a timely manner. They are taking far too long and it's not right.
"The public have a right to be able to have issues like this dealt with in a timely manner."
Bradford South Area Committee are due to discuss the current situation at their next meeting, at City Hall at 5pm tonight.
Danny Jackson, Bradford Council's Countryside and Rights of Way Manager, said they were currently working on six applications, with a further 36 in the queue.
He said the length of time needed to process an application tended to vary.
He said: "A very straight-forward case could be completed in six to eight months, but this is rare. Most are more complex and can take years, especially if there are objections and inquiries involved.
"In some cases, a portion of the process is handled by the Planning Inspectorate, not the Council, and this can add significantly to timescales.
"For these reasons, we are unable to give a start and end date for the Dyehouse Road application."
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