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We have called on Councillor Ann John, chairman of Brent Council’s General Purposes Committee, to resolve to reopen the blocked path across Northwick Park golf course, rather than persist in trying to close it.
The committee will consider a recommendation from its Director of Environment and Culture tomorrow (29 June) to remake the flawed order to divert the path.
Says Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary: ‘The path is obstructed by the golf driving-range, so that walkers are at serious risk if they try to use it. There is a gate and fencing across the path, together with large warning notices of the danger of crossing the range; it is extremely intimidating. The driving range should not be across a footpath, the path was there first and has priority. The council should require the driving range to be moved, not the path.
‘The council made a legal order to move the path in 2007, but the Open Spaces Society, the Ramblers and others pointed out that it was seriously flawed. So now the council plans to withdraw that order and make a new one. It should not be doing that; it should be reopening the path on its existing route instead.
‘If it does remake the order there will again be substantial opposition and the council will have to face a public inquiry. It made a similar order over virtually the same route five years ago and that was thrown out following a public inquiry. Nothing much has changed since then, except that the operator of the driving range, Leisure Golf Ltd, has got away with further abuse of the footpath.
‘Brent should stop wasting public money in trying to evade the issue. It should serve a notice on Leisure Golf to reopen the path,’ Kate declares.