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Vicinity of Bennett Rec Gnd - Paths

Geoffrey Settle

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Somone on here raised concerns about the removal of access to paths in the Parish of Fearnhead that had been fenced off the other week. A big thansk you for that.


Trees had been hacked down and used as fence material!!!! :evil: :evil:


I was interviewed by John Thorp, Rights of Way Officer,on Monday, as someone who has used these paths for over 30 years. I used to be a runner requiring over 80 miles a week of running and in the winter cross-country training venues - thsi one was ideal and on my doorstep.


A lady has begun the necessary action for paths in the Bennett Recreation Ground area to be recorded as public :P . She has my full support as path warden.


Hopefully the application will be successful, the history of the area is fascinating and as an ex-Chair of Warrington Athletic there is a little know connection. :mrgreen:

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Good Morning Geoffrey


I too am being interviewed by John Thorp and I know several others who also have.


The site seems to have gone very quiet but access remains blocked. :evil:


Seems a shame that a path that has been open for many years suddenly closes with no explanation.


Hopefully they will re-open it but I am not confident.


Hopefully I am just being negative but it looks like the site is being prepared for some kind of development that we do not know about yet.

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It would be lovely if John Thorp and other staff at wbc told people about their activities.

It would be lovely if the wbc website actually contained some useful news about all the projects being implemented by the people at wbc.


There is a lovely girl waiting in the assistant chief executive office for all the input from our erstwhile employees.

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Geoff.... doesn't it take a long time for a decision to be made after an application is submitted to have pathways deemed as public rights of ways and also the land owner can oppose the application anyway.


Is John Thorpe from the Council... and if so are they backing the application to have the pathways made public rights of way?


Surely someone somewhere within the council must be able to ask the current land owner (or whoever is doing it) 'what is going on, why these works are being carried out and what their intentions are'?


After all it does now seem to be becoming a public concern so as such the council should be investigating before it gets worse and all the pathways are ripped up, trees removed, wildlife affected and access completely restricted or the areas changed so much that if rights of way are granted there will be nothing to walk on or worth walking through.


Maybe the planning department know something about it :unsure::wink:

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Unfortunatey DIZZY it's his land and he's developing allotments - he is entitled to do so - what we are doing is telling him about our use of over a period of twenty plus years. We have to provide the evidence - and John Thorpe (the Rights of Way officer) has the job of taking our statements, after that I'm not too sure what happens is respect to who passes a judgement - the process has to be seen to be fair and transparent. At least that is how I understand it.


There is no conspiracy one way or another. There is due process which is taking place and yes it probably will take time but if we win then the paths will be opened up once again. :D

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Oooh sorry Geoff... I was not trying to start conspiracies... I was only kidding.


I suppose the land owner could always say that everyone has been lucky to have been allowed to use the pathways over his private land for so long.


Anyway good luck with it all and sounds like you have a strong chance although I'm sure the battle for a similar access issue over this way is still ongoing after well over a year now. This area has been used by residents, walkers, children, kids on bikes and more besides for well over 30 years too although slightly different as the council were going to sell it to Arena Housing for £1 (or something ridiculous like that). They approved planning for 50 affordable homes on the much used field and open space. Uproar.. no building works being done as they can't now anyway due to the application... so the council then spent £18k fencing it all off last year to keep people out. Maybe it will be fenced off for the next 20 years, who knows but rather pathetic !!


I hope if nothing else a quicker compromise can be found with your access and pathways in the mean time so both sides are happy... and I hope your are successfull in retaining and gaining the public access.


At least yours it's only a development of allotments and not houses or flats though eh.. small mercies... but then who knows what could be around the corner in a few years time :blink:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well done wireboy.


I've had two calls since the article.


One was very supportive and has information going back to the mid 50's when there was a railway spur that goes past the old folks flats and Orford Park, when you could walk alongside the railway.


Another was from a resident who wants the Eric Ave closed off because it stop dogs being walked down the street but having said this there are many dog walkers in Eric Ave who walk along the routes. This gentleman was also concerned about the mini bikes - well if Eric Ave had a turnstile or metal zig zag gate that shouldn't be an issue.

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