Ex-show chief facing action over bridleway

Builders rubbish dumped on farm land, part of a Calderdale Way link track off High Stones Road, above Cragg Vale
Builders rubbish dumped on farm land, part of a Calderdale Way link track off High Stones Road, above Cragg Vale
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LEGAL action is being launched against a former Halifax Agricultural Show chairman after a bridleway across his land was “ruined” by building rubble.

Water Stalls Road, a public right of way that links to popular walking route the Calderdale Way, is barely passable after demolition waste up to 2ft deep was dumped there.

Now Calderdale Council is demanding that landowner Alan Wheelwright, who was at the helm of the show in 2008/09, sorts out the mess near Crow Hill Farm, Cragg Vale.

A spokesman said: “We can confirm we are taking legal action against the landowner to restore Water Stalls Road to a condition where it can be used as a bridleway.”

Mr Wheelwright, the managing director of Taylor’s Bacon Packers in Mytholmroyd, refused to speak to the Courier about it.

The action follows two years of complaints from users of the route, which has stunning views from the hillside between Sowerby and Cragg Vale.

One walker, who did not wish to be named, said the bridleway was first “ruined” when a heavy industrial vehicle was driven along it in December 2009.

He said it had created a “quagmire” with boggy trenches up to a foot deep making it treacherous. Then, this summer, building rubble up to 5ft high was dumped along a 250-metre stretch further along the right of way, he said.

It has since been levelled but still stands up to 2ft in places.

“Calderdale’s footpath and bridleway network, its rights of way, are arguably the best in England,” said the walker. “If this isn’t vandalism I don’t know what is.”

He said he was pleased the council was finally taking action but it should have been done sooner.

“It is only two years too late,” he said.

“It was a beautiful greenway, a lovely old track. It’ll never be the same again.”