New twist in battle over public right of way along northern Cleethorpes coastline
THE long-running campaign for a public right of way along the northern Cleethorpes coastline has taken another dramatic twist.
Residents were celebrating in February when their application for a footpath along land known as New Clee Waterfront (previously New Clee Sidings) was approved by the Planning Inspectorate.
But now they are preparing to object to the map modification order published by North East Lincolnshire Council, claiming that the route advertised is different to the one that was granted.
It is the latest setback for the residents, who have been fighting for a right of way since 1999, when a fence blocking access to the land between Fuller Street footbridge in Cleethorpes and Salvesen Road, in Grimsby, was erected.
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As reported, they had to wait until April 2011 for the planning application for three footpaths to be approved, only to see the decision reversed at a subsequent planning committee meeting less than three months later.
In February this year, the Planning Inspectorate partially upheld their appeal, ordering NELC to make an order for one of the three claimed footpaths, which were particularly popular with dog walkers.
But now campaigners say the order, which has been published by the council, is inaccurate, because the route shown does not follow the established footpath.
Robert Palmer, who has led the 13-year campaign on behalf of residents, said: "We have had 12 years of inaction, followed by a double vote by the planning committee, and now we have an inaccuracy with the grid references.
"The route that the council is proposing is not the one that has been walked on for more than 30 years."
Mr Palmer said the footpath he had applied for went through the fence near Fuller Street footbridge and followed the grassed area to Salvesen Road, whereas the one being proposed starts 72 yards further towards the coastline and clings to the sea wall.
He said he had attempted to persuade council officers to delay publication of the order until the "inaccuracies" were corrected, but to no avail.
He added: "It would seem that I am being manoeuvred into a position whereby I now have to make an objection to my own right of way application.
"I do not see how it is within the council's powers to redesign what the Planning Inspectorate has ordered."
A council spokesperson said: "The council as surveying authority for the Definitive Map have published a Definitive Map Modification Order and accompanying Order Plan for a claimed path at New Clee Sidings. This is in compliance with the Planning Inspectors report and decision to add the path route to the Definitive Map.
"Due diligence checks have been undertaken in the process of preparing the Order and Order Plan, and the published plan is a true representation of the Planning Inspector's decision.
"If any objections are received and cannot be resolved then the matter would be referred to the Secretary Of State for determination as to whether or not the order should be confirmed."