Grindleton farmer stumped by United Utilities pipe plans

A FARMER was amazed to learn that United Utilities are to dig up a lane for a water pipe, despite his offer of a route through his fields.

The few scattered farms and houses on the single-track Grindleton Fell Road, Grindleton, have been notified that work will start in mid-October to connect one property, Ladysmith House, to the mains supply.

But David Coupland says his suggested route through a field near to the road could have saved a lot of disruption.

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Mr Coupland says the water company originally plotted a dog-leg route from Smalden Lane through his field at Higher Asker Hill Farm, cutting through new drains he had laid. He says he rejected that route and suggested a more direct one, lower down the hill, through a gulley called Clough Holes.

“It would have been a lot shorter,” he said. “Imagine it as one side of a triangle instead of two.

“I spoke to United Utilities and they said my route wouldn’t do because of the environment – something to do with rare plants – but there’s nothing down there. It’s full of undergrowth.”

United Utilities press officer Helen Wilson said: “We need to lay a new water pipe to bring mains water to a property that is presently fed by a spring supply, in order to meet new water quality regulations.

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“Our first choice would have been to lay the pipe through nearby fields, but that is not practical due to the presence of land drains, steep banking and an area of environmental protection. The only option is to lay the pipe along the lane, and we’ll be doing this work in two stages over a period of two weeks from October 15th.

“We’ve been in touch with the residents to let them know about the new pipe, and we’ll make sure we allow them access in and out of the lane throughout the work.”