Leeds Group of the Ramblers’
Minutes of Committee Meeting of 28th March 2017
Peter Sweeney (Chair), Martin Bennett, Lee Davidson (Minutes secretary), Carl Richman, Jean Wynne.
The Chair welcomed Jean Wynne on her first attendance at a meeting of the Committee.
2. Minutes of earlier meetings
2.1. Committee meeting held on January 19th 2017
The Minutes of the meeting of January 19th were agreed to be a correct record (Prop MB, Sec
2.2. AGM held on 12th November 2016
These minutes came before the committee for comment and correction, in order to be ready for
presentation at the next AGM.
A number of minor errors and missing information had been identified and had been corrected by
2.3. Committee meeting held on June 23rd 2016
Various circumstances including deficiencies in the email distribution and summer absences had
prevented these minutes from being fully considered.
The following corrections were made:
Min 11.2 Seacroft Hospital ‘fine trees’: LD thought he might have meant ‘five’ but in fact his
notes did not include the number and it is proposed to alter this to ‘mature’.
Min 11.3 Asquith Primary School: LD’s proposed diversion had been considered impracticable
and it was likely that the extinguishment would go ahead in order to ensure the desired security at
the school. However, no order had yet been received.
Min 12.4 Air ambulance: No donation had been made.
Min 12.5 Walking Festival: The walking festival could not be identified.
The minutes were agreed to be a correct record (Prop MB Sec CR)
No correspondence had been received which would not be covered under other agenda items.
PSw listed Harewood, Scarcroft, Bardsey, Linton and Collingham as locations with halls which
might be considered.
It was agreed that as Harewood had parking facilities, was accessible by public transport and was
a popular setting for a pre-meeting walk PSw should investigate the availability of the hall and the
5.Rambler Volunteer Roadshow at Leeds (25th
At short notice CR had attended the Volunteer Roadshow held in Leeds on March 25th, in order to
be present if local assistance was needed and to provide a walk round the city in the afternoon. A
TV company had been present making a film of the event.
The meeting thanked CR for his work on the day, notably the detailed commentary (circulated) on
the route of the walk which he had organised round a series of the blue plaques in Leeds, taking in
a series of notable buildings with historical connections.
The Day had been attended by 60-70 members from places as far away as Scarborough and
Liverpool. CR had attended a session on using the world-wide web to get more people walking.
A session on using social media had had to be cancelled. He had been impressed by the reaction
of a fairly new member who felt that he was getting very good value for his subscription.
Altogether it had been a valuable day.
6. Secretary (CR)
CR had attended the meeting of Area Council to examine motions going to General Council.
Steve Noble and Susan Wilkins would be going as delegates.
Members of the Parlington Development Objection Group (see http://village.parlington.co.uk/
2016/10/05/parlington-against-development/ ) had been present at the Volunteer Day and the Area
President had been concerned about Parlington. See below at 10.2.
7. Treasurer (PSw)
£642 had been received from CO, and the current balance was £1002.26 after paying for meeting
accommodation. Expenditure on rooms and expenses in a year tended to work out at about £200.
It was important not to carry too large a credit balance. Members were invited to give thought to
how the funds available might be spent.
The website was improving gradually as PSw became more familiar with how it worked. He was
able to draw on members of a group in Derby who were very experienced users. Steve Noble had
been able to extract the Area Walks Programme from the data supplied to the national Walks
548 at the end of February 2017 (compared with 578 at the end of February 2016).
It was not easy to determine where ‘lost’ members went to . Some would be older members
reaching the point where they discontinued membership. Some would be residents moving away
from Leeds. An unknown number would be people who chose not to renew. PSw was not
involved in the procedures taken by CO to attempt to retain those who did not renew
10.1. SAP consultation
The Site Allocation (SAP) consultation was over and the results would go to the Secretary of
State to be examined by the Planning Inspectorate. Adoption was likely in late 2017. It was
much needed as Leeds at present had a Core Strategy for housing but no agreed site allocation
procedure. This was leading to developers making substantial housing proposals for areas of land
which had had some degree of protection under older planning regimes, but were now effectively
open to exploitation if the case went to an Inquiry and the Inspector overturned Leeds CC’s
refusals of planning permission.
Wholesale objection to development at Parlington was not a very productive policy, as it would
shift the pressure to find land to some other part of the Leeds area. On the whole MW thought it
was better to keep resistance to specific planning applications as they came in. The area proposed
for housing had been reduced as a result of public concern. The proposals had not so far
threatened PRoWs. The path situation on the Parlington estate was complex. The estate had
appeared to accept that a BW shown as non-definitive on the Definitive Map was in fact a PRoW.
The avenue leading to the a archway is a non-definitive path.
A major review of Leeds housing requirements was in train which would investigate whether the
figure of 70,000 units was too high. This would have an effect on the land requirements for
10.3. Dunningley Lane area
The outline application for 700+ housing units at Dunningley Lane had been turned down, but the
applicants had gone to appeal and had in the meantime submitted an identical application
(17/01103/OT). Highways England had rejected the earlier proposal on many grounds and it was
hard to see how they could avoid making the same objections to the current application. The
proposals on footpaths had been acceptable, and there was the possibility of redeveloping the old
railway line and a bridge to make a new link to the Middleton area.
MW had attended the Leeds consultation meeting and had made contact with the officer (Stephen
Smith) assigned to deal with footpath and related matters in the North and West Yorkshire area of
the development. He was a walker and had a good grasp of the problems likely to be encountered
in building the line through the path network. MW and LD would be examining closely the
effects of the line on paths in the Leeds area. MW reckoned that about 15 paths would be
affected. Working out good diversion/realignment proposals was the best way of using the time
available, so that the outcome for walkers could be the best achievable.
Construction closures would be another problem. It was hoped that it would be possible to keep
the Trans-Pennine Trail route down the Aire Valley in use during the construction of the
Swillington viaduct, unlike its fate during the construction of the M1 when there had been a
The next meeting concerning the line will be on May 9th. PRoW in Leeds will print out copies
of the detailed Definitive Map showing the affected paths.
MW’s recommendation was that a joint submission from the Leeds Local Access Forum (LAF)
and the Leeds Group would be the best approach. It would also be necessary to work in
conjunction with Wetherby Group for the portion of the line around Church Fenton.
11.Walks Programme (PSw)
A full programme had been arranged, with some additional walks making the choice of 2 walks
possible on some days. More meeting points for car sharing had been set up.
PSw had printed some programmes for distribution in outdoor equipment shops in Leeds.
12.1. Meeting concerning Street Register/National Street
LD briefly described a useful meeting held on January 26th attended by officers from Highways
and Rights of Way, MW, LD and Jerry Pearlman. In the light of the expected announcement in
March 2017 of the detailed guidance on the sections of the Deregulation Act 2015 which affected
Rights of Way, in particular the issue of the 2026 deadline on claiming routes, the LAF and LD
had felt that it would be useful to have a round table meeting to discuss issues such as whether
Leeds was filing Rights of Way data for its Local Street Gazetteer (LSG). Street Register data is
publicly accessible in Leeds (http://www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/Street-register.aspx ) and
includes a large amount of data about footpaths. The Definitive Map comes from a different
legislative background and is the main statement about Rights of Way. LD had long suspected
that the Street Register contained information about the public status of lanes, ginnels and other
ways in Leeds often not shown at all on the definitive map. A major outcome of the meeting was
that this was confirmed, and that ginnels listed as ‘public’ were adopted highways and therefore
safe in 2026. The complex task of getting PRoW data into the LSG was only now being started,
and the resource implications would be considerable.
[At the date of writing these minutes in late March DEFRA has still not announced the secondary
legislation arising from the Deregulation Act 2015. Readers may like to keep an eye on the
Announcements link at DEFRA (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-forenvironment-
food-rural-affairs ). The papers produced in connection with the meeting can be
obtained by contacting LD.]
12.2. Arthington Byway 11
LD had been in touch with Richard Smith (RS) in Lower Wharfedale Group about the proposed
conversion of Byway Arthington 11 (from the rail viaduct to the Wharfe river bank near Castley).
There had been a long history of misuse of this byway by vehicles, with damage to property etc)
and it seemed sensible to support the proposal. As BOATs (Byways Open to All Traffic) are
normally downgraded to Restricted Byways LD had circulated members of the West Riding Area
Footpath Committee with the papers giving rise to a vigorous discussion about rights, the status of
the ford across the river and the possibility of a byway route on the North bank (in North
Yorkshire). RS had written in the end to support the downgrading to Bridleway but had asked as
a condition that Leeds CC confer with NYCC to ensure that byway rights on the North bank were
also fully removed so that there would not in future be an authority border anomaly (non
matching status where a way crosses the boundary between two authorities).
12.3. BW Leeds 18
LD had investigated reports of poor surface and signage irregularities on BW Leeds 18 between
Stair Foot Lane and Golf Farm. The surface was indeed in a very poor state at one point, possible
affected by vehicle movements. A waymark post and signpost were found to be dismounted.
Leeds PRoW had been informed.
12.4. Ginnels on the map
LD had recently reported on a short ginnel connecting Meanwood Rd to Ridge Rd at
Buslingthorpe. It was associated with steps and a further path. none of which appeared on the
definitive map. They have now been added as non-definitive route, and the steps involved had
been found to be maintained highway.
[Reader should note that while many ginnels are shown on the Definitive Map, often as nondefinitive
paths, an unknown number are not. LD submits a steady trickle of new cases, and
members are invited to check on whether such paths in their neighbourhoods are shown. If not,
let LD have the details.]
12.5. FP Rothwell 1
LD had found FP Rothwell 1, leading off the Skelton Bridge road just downstream from Thwaite
Mills, to be completely blocked by vegetation at its N end. MB had found the other end to be
blocked by a cable drum a year or two before. This was a clear case of unacceptable obstruction.
It was important to keep such paths in being because the neighbourhood could change and bring
the path into use in future.
12.6. Pathwatch (MB)
Although the level of use of the Pathwatch app was low, MB had found that it was very easy to
use and its use as a starting point for complaints about path problems should be encouraged, for
example during group walks.
12.7. Cycling on footpaths (MB)
MB noted further discussion of opening up footpaths to cycle users in a cycling magazine. Two
motions were going to General Council. Careful thought would have to be given to how to ensure
that footpath users were not affected by undesirable consequences of increased use by cyclists,
which seemed a likely outcome.
13.Local Access Forum (LAF - MW)
MW reported that the meeting on 28th February had had a presentation on the Leeds East
Orbital Road plans. A 4.5m combined foot and cycle route would be constructed on the inside of
the curve of the new road. Another recreational route would be created on the outside of the
LeedsGpComm_28mar17. It would be important to ensure that this was a route which
walkers would want to use. The planning application was expected soon with construction
starting in 2018 aiming at completion in 2020/21.
He had also written to MPs whose constituencies included Countryside Stewardship access
facilities financed by EU money to ask them to write to the Minister to stress the importance of
finding successor funding for these valuable projects. There were 5 in Elmet and Rothwell and 1
in Leeds West (Rodley Nature Reserve).
The Rights of Way Improvement Plan (RoWIP) was due for review. It was felt that the
revision should take place after the Site Allocation process was completed.
14.1. Peter Taylor
MB had spoken to Peter Taylor who had recently had a two month stay in hospital and was
housebound. It would be a good idea to try to take him out for lunch when the weather has
14.2. Yorkshire Dales Green Lanes Alliance
MB would be unable to attend the YDGLA meeting and suggested another member might like to
14.3. Talk of the Town article in Walk Magazine Spring 2017
Many useful aspects of increasing walking in town were discussed in a recent article in Walk
magazine. The importance of parks and green space could not be exaggerated. LD was minded
to write to point out that many paths in towns might have less secure status than definitive Rights
It was agreed that the next meeting should give further consideration to the article,
15.Date of next meeting
22nd June 2017, Oxford Place, Leeds, 7pm.
LeedsGpComm_28mar17_checked.pages - 7 -