County could reconsider

SIR - I am writing to ask if your readers can help regarding a disputed Barnstaple footpath that runs from Newport Road to Park Lane via Prospect Place. I was at the meeting of the Devon County Council Rights of Way Committee on Monday, November 9 where t

SIR - I am writing to ask if your readers can help regarding a disputed Barnstaple footpath that runs from Newport Road to Park Lane via Prospect Place.

I was at the meeting of the Devon County Council Rights of Way Committee on Monday, November 9 where the councillors voted not to make a legal Order to add this footpath to the Definitive Map.

This was despite the fact that late evidence deposited with DCC and a petition from 120 pupils of Park Community School had resulted in the officer investigating the case recommending that an Order be made.

The making of an Order is the first stage in the process to legally recognise a route as a public right of way.


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Evidence of use over a period, normally 20 years, and documentary evidence have to be weighed up when the making of an Order is under consideration.

Unfortunately for the residents who apparently have had to deal with litter, vandalism and anti-social behaviour, this cannot be taken into account at this stage. There are other sections within the law and our police to deal with these problems.

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It would appear from local opinion, including the students of Park School, that the route has been used, without hindrance, for a number of years.

It should be possible for Devon County Council to reconsider this case if more people who have used the path can fill in evidence forms.

The forms can be obtained from the Barnstaple Town Council offices, from Devon County Council (Mr N Steenman-Clark, Devon County Council, Public Rights of Way Section, Topsham Road, Exeter EX2 4QW; telephone Barnstaple 382856) or on the DCC website at www.devon.gov.uk (find useful forms - user evidence. The form can be filled in on-line if you wish).

Please do not leave this to someone else, if you have used the path fill in an evidence form NOW!

Joan Long (Mrs), Chairman,

Ramblers - North Devon Group.

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