Back in May we won a significant victory against Natural England’s decision to sign an agreement with the Walshaw Moor Estate which included a new track across the protected landscape of the moor.
You may think that was the end of it but no, we’ve been nagging away at NE for the last few months over a new Habitats Regulations Assessment.
Yesterday my lawyers heard from NE that NE has completed a new HRA and on the basis of that assessment they have written to Calderdale and Pendle local planning authorities objecting to the proposal to build a track across Walshaw Moor.
That is what NE should have done right from the start but our legal challenge made them do it. It might never have happened without us – so take a bow everyone who has supported this case.
In particular, take a bow Bob Berzins who measured the peat depth along the proposed track and showed that it was significantly deeper than the planning proposal had admitted. That information certainly helped (see below).
I don’t want to take anything away from Bob’s work but the result might well have been the same without that new information because the case against the track was very strong anyway – that’s why NE have objected to it in the past and that’s what made their supine acquiescence all the more craven this time around.
So, not only did we win and make NE re-do their work, but when they did it properly the result came out, as it always should have done, completely differently, the exact opposite, from their first attempt. The environment, blanket bogs and moorland wildlife are now safer than they would have been without our challenge.
I’m elated. Thank you to our brilliant legal team and thank you for all those who helped to make this happen.
I’ll come back to this later but at the moment I am smiling from ear to ear.