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We are deeply concerned about the failure of Leicestershire County Council to protect public bridleway A105, at Farndon Fields to the west of Market Harborough, from development.
The society has been supporting its local member Peter Pollak in his effort to get the route reopened.
Harborough District Council, gave planning consent to Avant Homes to build here. The developers, Avant Homes, have been granted a temporary closure by Leicestershire County Council (the highway authority) of bridleway A105 to the west, without provision for a temporary alternative route. The closure was to enable the developers to carry out essential ground works in safety. The developers also told the county council that ‘it would be impractical to try and provide a temporary alternative route during this phase of the development’. Consequently, the public has lost a vital path.
The county council granted the temporary closure when it should have required the route to be reopened. This leaves walkers and riders confused as to where they can go, and the official route remains obstructed.
Says Peter Pollak: ‘I am deeply frustrated by the abuse of this bridleway which is an important link for walkers, riders and cyclists, taking them out into the countryside. The council has closed the route, offering no suitable alternative, instead of insisting that the developers rewrite their plans to keep the path open.’
Adds Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary: ‘The county council has a legal duty to protect the rights of the public on this path and to keep it free of obstruction. We have written to the council to ask that it exercises that duty and reopens the path.’