New footpath plan drawn up to end 20-year dispute
NEW proposals have been drawn up to resolve a long-running dispute over a Waltham footpath.
The route of the footpath, which runs across farmland between Barnoldby Road and Brigsley Road, has been a bone of contention for years.
In 1991, the now defunct Humberside County Council was found guilty of maladministration by the Local Government Ombudsman for its failure to resolve the issue.
But more than 20 years on, the dispute is still rumbling on.
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And now North East Lincolnshire Council has approved a public path diversion order based on the new proposals – but is bracing itself for objections.
The council made a previous order in 2009 to divert the existing footpath, which runs in a straight line across the land, to the west, away from the edge of the fishing pond at the northern end of the site for public safety reasons.
But the order was objected to by the owners of Sunk Farm land and Sandon House land, as the proposed route crossed their land.
The council has now drawn up some slight revisions to the route – which were approved by the planning committee last week.
However, it is understood that these changes have failed to satisfy the landowners, who are likely to object again.
Slight changes have also been made to the southern section of the route after the major landowner claimed that the previously proposed layout would encourage trespass, because it crossed a farm access track which runs towards Brigsley Road.
Councillor Philip Jackson (Con, Waltham) said: "I have a lot of sympathy for the officers on this one, because it has gone backwards and forwards for longer than I've been a councillor for Waltham.
"It is a classic example of you can't please all the people all the time. I think whichever route we eventully choose somebody is going to object to it.
"My view is we ought to run with these proposals to see what objections we get. We have got to try to draw this dispute to a close."
If any unresolved objections are made, the order will be referred to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.