Residents are rejoicing after a long battle to have a public footpath in the Moorlands reopened. A footpath in Foxt, which had been blocked by the placing of a gate some years ago, is now set to be reopened.
Residents are rejoicing after a long battle to have a public footpath in the Moorlands reopened.
A footpath in Foxt, which had been blocked by the placing of a gate some years ago, is now set to be reopened.
Staffordshire County Council had applied the reopening of the Ipstones Footpath 47 a few years ago but it came up against opposition and was then sent to an inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
On January 28, a decision by the inspector was published whereby they concluded that the order should be confirmed.
Foxt resident John Sutton said of the news: “It’s taken six years, 19 people wrote in about the evidence of use, and 60 people signed a petition for it’s reopening.
“Residents are very pleased that the inspector is upholding the order.
“It’s good that this ancient right of way is being opened up again.
“It’s good news for the village.”
The Times & Echo contacted Staffordshire County Council for an update on the reopening of the pathway, including with regards to the removal of the gate which has been put in place.
Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member for Communities at Staffordshire County Council said: “As a council we are committed to maintaining a high quality network of paths across the county.
“Dealing with rights of way enquiries can be complex with lots of legal issues, usually involving multiple parties and do take time to resolve.
“We are working to have the path reopened and are going through the legal process which includes an opportunity for people to comment on the matter.
“If no objections are received we will be asking the land owner to remove the gate.”
A council spokesman further explained that “a notice for the confirmed order is set to go up on site and in the local newspaper when ready. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks.”
Once it has been advertised there is a 42 day period in which members of the public can challenge the validity of the order, if no challenges are received the route will be added to the Definitive Map and Statement.
The full inspectors report, outlining the case and history behind the footpath in question, can be read by going online tohttps://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/957543/row_3239332_od.pdf.
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