Plymouth City Council has decided not to proceed with a plan to alter the route of a public footpath across open farmland north of Hooe Lane, Plymstock.
The landowner had applied to move the footpath from across the field to the field edge, around two sides of a triangle, on grounds which included avoiding conflict with cattle and securing efficient use of the land. The council consulted the groups representing users of the route, and there were objections. The Director of Development and Regeneration considered the objections and declined to make an order to divert the path.
The decision to drop the plan was based on the facts that the distance of the diversion was three times that of the existing route, and the problem of potentially dangerous animals was created by the landowner and should be resolved by the landowner without putting the public to additional inconvenience.
Says Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary: ‘This is an excellent outcome. The current route is a direct continuation of Little Lane which comes from the south, and keeps road walking to a minimum. The proposed diversion forced walkers onto a dog-leg around the field, taking them away from their direction of travel.
‘We agree that it is for the landowner to deal with his stock and not to try to shove the public out of the way.
‘We are delighted that Plymouth City Council has upheld the public’s interest in opposing this plan.’