Peter Gomersall, a member of the society in Northumberland, has told us of a local success.
“During the past five years, five well-used footpaths in the small coastal village of Beadnell have been blocked and fenced off. This has been done by developers attempting to build luxury holiday homes.
After a vigorous campaign by local residents Northumberland County Council’s rights of way committee decided that the user evidence was sufficient to designate all five as public rights of way. The developers objected to three of the designations and a public inquiry took place in December 2012 over a period of three days.
On 19 March this year we finally received confirmation that the Inspector had confirmed the the three public rights of way.
While this is a major milestone in our fight against the ruination of the coastline, it is by no means the end of the battle as the developers have already declared that they will apply for the newly claimed footpaths to be diverted. This saga looks set to run for some time yet, although we are confident about the ultimate outcome.
If I have learned anything from this campaign, it is that:
- lots of energy and time are needed,
- never be afraid to ask for help,
- when people tell you that you can’t beat developers, ignore them.
Don’t forget we are fighting to preserve rights not just for the present but for future generations too.”
We congratulate Peter and the local residents on their perseverance and wish them luck in the next stage of this saga.