Update: Our response to the Thorpe Park consultation has been submitted, and we have a response!
Leeds City Council are consulting on plans for the Thorpe Park development (close to Junction 46 of the M1). The site is crossed by the recently completed Leeds City Centre to Garforth Core Cycle Network route and we attended a meeting with the developers over a year ago to discuss plans for the footpaths, roads and bridleways around the site.
The consultation letter reads:
"RE: Proposed Diversions at Thorpe Park.
An application for a diversion of a footpath and bridleway under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 has been received for the diversion of part of a Leeds Footpath No. 126 and Leeds Bridleway No. 263 (formerly part of Austhorpe Bridleway No. 5) at Park Approach, Thorpe Park. This is the first phase of a major development proposal and additional diversions will also be required for the later phases. The developers would like to commence work on the site outlined in red this year and if a diversion were made and confirmed the new routes would be laid out and opened up this year. The planning application reference is 14/02488/FU and is currently under consideration.
Map A shows the proposed extinguishments and new routes of the footpath and bridleway. Leeds Footpath No. 126 would be extinguished between points A and B shown by a solid black line. An alternative route provided between E and B as shown by a dashed line. Leeds Bridleway No. 263 would be extinguished between points C and D shown by a solid black line. A new route would be provided between points F and D as shown with a solid line with cross bars. The sections of existing footpath and bridleway between E to A and F to C, are not to be extinguished as they will not be affected by this development and there is an intention to provide a new route to the north as part of a later phase of development for this site.
The proposed alternative route for the footpath would run east along a crushed stone surface for a short distance and then east and north along the metalled footway alongside the road. At the end of the cul-de-sac a crushed stone surface would be provided across a grassed area until it joins the unaffected section of footpath.
The proposed alternative route for the bridleway would run east along a crushed stone surface for a short distance and then along the grass verge on the side of the road and then a short section between the road and the unaffected section of bridleway.
A second application has also been made for the rest of the site (planning application reference 14/01216/FU). The second application would result in the relocation of the bridleway proposed by the first Order to the north and through a park area. Part of the footpath would also be diverted again by the second Order. Due to the amount of work required to the site and the time lag between the two stages of development the routes in the first Order would be in place for several years before the second Order routes would be made available. The second Order would also affect a number of other public rights of way.
Map B shows the proposed diversions for the second Order. I have also included a plan showing the final development. Leeds Footpath No. 126 will be extinguished from point A to B as shows with a solid black line including the crossing over the railway line. An alternative route will be provided from A to B shown with a black dashed line (part is hidden by the bridleway extinguishment). It will run parallel with new line road and will have a metalled surface.
The section of Leeds Bridleway No. 263 created by the first Order and part of the Austhorpe Bridleway No. 5 (between C and D) would be extinguished and an alternative route would be created from K to D. This route would run along a crushed stone surface 6 metres wide through a park area and will then cross over the new link road on a wide green bridge. After crossing the bridge it will head south to re-join Barrowby Lane, Austhorpe Bridleway No. 5. A new bridleway will also be created between near the end of the green bridge heading north then running alongside the new link road and over the railway line to join Manston Lane. From there users will be able to head east along Manston Lane and then north along a bridleway to Scholes, east to Parlington or south east to Garforth or back to Barrowby Lane for a circular route.
Leeds Footpath No. 127 will be extinguished between E and F. There are no plans to provide an alternative route within the diversion order as the new route of Leeds Bridleway No. 263 will be on a similar line. Additional routes are to be provided through the park area although the exact lines have yet to be determined as they may be affected earth moving. The developer has agreed to dedicate these at a later date. Leeds Footpath No. 128 will be extended between N and O to link to the new bridleway.
Leeds Footpath No. 117 will be extinguished in two places between G and H and I as J as there will be changes to the alignment of Manston Lane and access to it. New routes will be provided between H and L and J and M and the road here is to be widened."
Maps and plans are attached below, though the choice of colours and patterns isn't the easiest to untangle. We'll also try to find out what cycle provision the Council are planning for the roads - it looks like rubbish shared use pavements or on road cycling. We need to start collating our response by the end of July if possible, so please send your comments in via contact <at> leedscyclingcampaign.co.uk Alternatively you can contact the council directly, the contact is Claire Tregembo claire.tregembo at leeds.gov.uk using reference "Thorpe Park".
UPDATE - RESPONSE FROM THE COUNCIL dated 11th August
"Thank you for your comments concerning the proposed diversion of public rights of way at Thorpe Park, Leeds.
Regarding the first Diversion:
The bridleway was previously diverted in 2002 following the granting of planning permission for the first phase of the Thorpe Park site. This diversion was never a temporary diversion it was always permanent. Consultation was carried out with user groups, including cycling groups, and the Diversion Order was advertised on site and in the local press. No objections were received and the Diversion Order was subsequently confirmed. There was a temporary closure of the bridleway during construction of the site which prevented all access for several years. The current line of the bridleway has existed since at least 2006.
The majority of the bridleway diversion proposed will be alongside a fairly quiet road which cyclists will be able to use. As this is a diversion of a bridleway it has to be suitable for use by horses and metalled surfaces are not suitable for horse use. Although cyclists are able to use bridleway they need to be maintained to an acceptable standard for use by horses. There is no duty to maintain bridleways to a cycleway standard. However, I have spoken to the developers who are willing to provide a tarmac 3 metre wide segregated footpath/ cycleway alongside a crushed stone surface for horse riders.
Regarding the second Diversion:
The diversion of the bridleway relates only to the bridleway and the diversion order map needs to be read in conjunction with the overall site map. The intention of the bridleway diversion is to provide a recreation bridleway through a park area which walkers, cyclists and horse riders wanting a greener recreational route can use. This surface would need to be suitable for use by horse riders so could not be metalled.
In addition to the bridleway and footpath diversions, cycle routes will also be provided along the routes shown with pale blue dashes on the site plan. These will be more direct commuting routes and will have a metalled surface. One will run from the exiting bridleway 126, along Park Approach to join Barrowby Lane on a similar alignment to the first bridleway diversion. A crossing will be provided across the new road. Another cycleway will also be provided in a north south direction alongside the new road which will provide an additional link to the Manston and Stanks area and further afield to Scholes via existing bridleways. There are currently no cycle or bridleway routes in this direction. These cycleways are in the scheme that has been granted planning permission so the developer will be obliged to provide these routes.
The former line of Barrowby lane is no longer in the ownership of the developers so it is unlikely that this line could be reinstated. Even if it were possible to reinstate the original Barrowby Lane route as a cycleway cyclists would need to join Century Way and either use the roundabout or undertake additional crossing of roads. The proposed cycle route along Park Approach minimises road crossings and is believe to be a safer route for cyclists.
The developers have also agreed to upgrade the existing Austhorpe Footpath No. 6 so that it can be used as an additional link for cyclists into Barrowby Lane.
I hope this answers some of your queries and concerns about the proposals for this site."