FOOTPATH REJECTED: Farmer’s application to divert footpaths rejected
County bosses have rejected a farmer’s bid to divert a public footpath.
The applicants, named in paperwork as Mr and Mrs Charlton, the owners of Cornsay House Farm, had applied to change three routes to ‘improve safety and security’.
A report for Durham County Council suggested there was some, merit to the proposals, accepting the scheme could improve security and reduce the risk of ‘potential conflict with farm traffic’.
After considering the effects on walkers however, it was formally recommended that the application be turned down.
Senior rights of way officer, Nick Howell, said: “We acknowledge that the proposals are genuinely in the interest of the landowner, and that moving the parts away from the farm, how farmhouse in yard would benefit the farm.
“However the proposed routes would be excessively longer, circuitous, [include] unnatural detours, introduce further limitations and involve additional gains in elevation.
“It is felt that the diversion which would be substantially more inconvenient, and could affect the public’s enjoyment of the paths as a whole.”
Howell was speaking at this morning’s (Friday, April 16) meeting of Durham County Council’s Highways Committee, which was held by videolink and broadcast via YouTube.
Speaking on behalf of the applicant, Adam Barrass, an agricultural surveyor, insisted no footpath would be ‘completely lost’ as a result of the plans and questioned why the British Horse Society had objected to the plans but not a dedicated walking organisation such as the Ramblers.
The county council’s legal advisor reminded councillors that an objector’s identity should not in itself add any weight to their comments.
Of the six members of the panel, five voted to reject the application, with one abstention.
Words: James Harrison, Local Democracy Reporter
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