Following a meeting with residents in Oxenhope with Worth Valley Councillor Rebecca Poulsen, Robbie has raised residents concerns regarding the Yorkshire Water construction in Oxenhope directly with the company.
During a visit to the site, Yorkshire Water said that they are undertaking a £5.4 million scheme to improve the water they return to the environment. Due to the scale, size and amount of equipment and apparatus Yorkshire Water need to include within their scheme, they should have sought planning permission before starting any construction. Yorkshire Water did not seek any planning approval in advance, and have not done so to date. The works involve the construction of several large sealed container ‘like’ structures, together with a large metal tower, vehicle turning etc. Not only is this tower unsightly for local residents, it also invades the privacy of nearby homes and forms a visual obtrusion to neighbouring property and many who use the adjoining footpath. The site is positioned along one of the most popular and well known walks within the Worth Valley, the Children Railway Walk.
Given this scheme comes at a large cost, one would have thought that such a large utility company would have done all the necessary preparation work, which includes gaining planning consent well in advance of commencing construction.
Robbie has written to the CEO of Yorkshire Water on behalf of local residents asking them why they have done this work without planning permission, and has asked for a halt to all works with immediate effect until this matter is sorted out. Robbie has also written to Bradford Council’s planning enforcement team asking for them to take a tough approach and put a stop to this unlawful development, until all matters are resolved.
It is understood that Yorkshire Water have been advised by Bradford Council’s planning team to submit a retrospective planning application and to include certain screening mitigation measures.
Robbie Moore MP said: “Yorkshire Water have behaved completely unacceptably; they are acting like they are above the rules which everyone else must follow. Yorkshire Water’s development, just next to Oxenhope is in a beautiful part of the Worth Valley, right next to the famous Railway Children Walk. Those who use this walk regularly and those who live near the site have every right to be furious that Yorkshire Water would undertake such a large construction without the necessary planning permission and gaining the appropriate consents, and thinking they could get away with it.
Bradford Council have advised Yorkshire Water to apply for retrospective planning, but this is only because neighbouring residents and others have expressed serious concern. For a large corporate, Yorkshire Water should know better. I have written directly to the CEO of Yorkshire Water asking for an explanation on this, and told her that all work must be stopped immediately until matters are resolved.
No company is above the law, and I am fed up with organisations thinking that they can carry on regardless and then just put in a retrospective planning application in the hope Bradford Council will then give the green light. I expect Bradford Council to take a tough stance on this and use their full enforcement powers."