Footpath - Could be three decades before issue resolved

Editor’s note: Below is the full statement from Horncastle Town Council regarding the footpath at the rear of Thomas Gibson Way. Last week’s Horncastle News included an article about how residents of nearby Jessop Close have fought a decade-long battle to get someone to take responsibility for the middle section of the path. They claim the path is impassable because of brambles and weeds.

The footpath between Jessop Close and Mareham Road is not currently a registered public footpath.

In 2014 the Town Council submitted a Definitive Map Modification Order (DMMO) to Lincolnshire County Council to get the footpath registered as a public right of way, but this has not yet happened.

Last year, residents of Thomas Gibson Drive/Jessop Close contacted the Town Council to ask if we would cut back the footpath.

The request was considered by the Estates Management Committee and it was decided not to, because it was not currently a registered footpath, nor did the land belong to the Town Council.

Also, the last time the Town Council attempted to cut back the path, our staff were faced with verbal abuse from a resident who stated that the land was private.

In July last year, the Town Council resolved to write to LCC to ask if the priority of the DMMO could be raised because it was number 138 on the priority ranking list and as they were only just actioning applications that were first registered in the mid to late 1980s, it could be another 25-30 years before it reaches the top of the priority list.

Our request was declined. I have just checked and our application has actually gone down the priority ranking list and is now number 141.

The Town Council has stated that once the route of the footpath between Jessop Close and Mareham Road is confirmed as a public footpath the Town Council will maintain it and improve a pedestrian route into the town.

However, at the current time - due to the ownership of the land being unknown and the threat of antisocial behaviour to our staff - this is not possible.

Amanda Bushell

Town Clerk