PROW - PATH UPDATES
Shepherdswell ER80/81- at the end of November the Planning Inspectorate decided to allow the diversion of these paths out of the large field to the SW of the Village Hall, near the village centre, and to reroute them along the field edges by the Hall and adjoining Coxhill Road (behind a hedge). This is a new route that no one really wanted, as villagers have in the last year also been able to access a new direct (but permissive) grassy path to the Village Hall. What was particularly galling is that the Inspector accepted our arguments that the new route would be neither as convenient nor as enjoyable, but he did not consider the changes bad enough to warrant refusing the diversion. But I am convinced that in objecting we did absolutely the right thing, and should do so again in similar circumstances.
Coldblow Woods between Walmer and Ripple - a claim for three new footpaths inside these woods, situated between Cold Blow Crossing and Ripple Road. These would run parallel to the existing PROW which runs around three sides of the woods, but just inside the woods. This area is very well used by walkers, so perhaps at a later date you could supply evidence of having used these paths yourself? A report from KCC on whether or not to make a creation order is due this spring, but if it is made, the landowner is likely to oppose it.
Singledge Lane, Whitfield - the horse-riding fraternity are claiming a bridleway around the perimeter of the large field bounded by Singledge Lane to the north, the A2 to the south, and the Ramada Hotel to the east. An unexpected claim, since the field is currently being covered by new housing. A report from KCC on whether or not to make an order creating this route is due this spring.
Hougham ER218 - This track, currently a byway open to all traffic, runs westwards from Poulton Farm (the old banger racing track). An application to the Magistrates Court in December to downgrade the route to bridleway status failed, due to Trail Riders' opposition. However, KCC are confident of brokering an acceptable compromise, which will still provide walkers with a long-sought official link with footpath ER189, giving direct routes both to Alkham and St Radigund's Abbey.
Broadstairs TB3 - the diversion has finally come into effect: it sees the footpath diverted away from Elmwood Farm stable buildings to a route along their northern boundary, which emerges 80 yards further NE (towards Joss Bay) down Elmwood Avenue.
Birchington TM35/35A - an order now made to divert the paths away from the house and outbuildings of Great Brooksend Farm, SW of Birchington village on the way to St Nicholas. The new route will be in the field immediately to the north, where a "hard surface" will be provided. A section of nearby path will also be upgraded to a bridleway, albeit a cul-de-sac - a sop to local riders.
Station Road, Walmer development -very minor diversions - happily into green corridors - are proposed for footpath ED36 and bridleway ED58 through the extensive new housing development from Station Road southwards towards Coldblow Woods and the railway crossing. Have developers at last got the message about how to treat existing rights of way in such cases?
Sandgate -proposed creation of a new footpath from Sandgate High Street to Undercliff, then on northwards past Bybrook House (near the Martello tower) to Military Road.
For more details of these and any other PROW issues, please contact Roger King on 01304 362730, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org