PLANS to build a large fence to protect a major water supply from being contaminated from fly tipping have been approved.

Yorkshire Water had recently revealed that a site in Oxenhope, Nab Water Lane, had suffered from repeated fly tipping, with items including sheep heads, 30 goose carcasses, soiled nappies and remains of a cannabis farm being dumped on the banks of the stream.

Water from the site feeds into the main supply of drinking water for Bradford, and the company said the tipping posed “a significant risk to the protection of Bradford’s public water supply.”

It is thought that the fly tippers drive to the isolated Greenbelt site, pull onto a layby and throw the waste down the steep banks that lead to the Nab Water stream.

To tackle the issue Yorkshire Water submitted an application to Bradford Council to build 100 metres of 2.4 metre tall fencing at the site, separating Nab Water Lane and the stream.

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Council officers have now approved the application, saying that although a fence of this size would not normally be allowed in the Greenbelt - the consequences of continued fly tipping were much worse.

The stream flows directly into the Stubden Catchwater conduit via the Nan Scar Intake. It then flows directly to Stubden Reservoir which in turn supplies Chellow Heights WTW - the sole supply of drinking water to Bradford.”

Yorkshire Water had said that despite the risks posed by the dumping, there had been no evidence that Bradford's water supply had been contaminated so far.

Planning officers said: "The site is part of the Green Belt and is part of an exposed and dramatic landscape being part of the Pennine Uplands Landscape Character Area. With regard to the effects on landscape character, the two sections of fence would seem incongruous compared with the dry stone walls and low stock fences which are the usual means of enclosure along the roadside and around the upland pastures which dominate these landscapes.

"The mesh fence will have an industrial character and almost certainly have a negative impact on the character of this open, exposed landscape.

"There would be some localised harm to landscape character due to the incongruous height and appearance of the fences but these detrimental effects would be mitigated by the use of a mesh and the benefits of hopefully deterring dumped rubbish from accumulating on the prominent slopes of the ravine and thereby harming the wider landscape."

They said "substantial weight" had to be given to the damage the dumping of waste was having on the area.

The report added: "There would be direct benefits to biodiversity of the local wildlife site and incidental benefits for the area given the harmful impact that fly tipping will be having on nature conservation through the likely attraction of predators to the site and the potential increased population of predators (rats) that could be fed by the waste.

"It is agreed that whilst not having a significant beneficial impact, the presence of the fence to deter fly tipping may have a small positive impact on nature conservation objectives, particularly given the organic nature of much of the material tipped so far.

"The balance of the planning issues here is that some negative effects on the quality of the upland landscape are significantly outweighed by the necessity of this development to safeguard the public water supply."