Clients in Herefordshire have finally had their footpath diversion confirmed after nearly two decades! The cross-field path has been diverted on to the neighbouring farm track, which is the route people have walked for so long. The case was dealt with by the “written representations” method of determining objections, and the clients are very relieved it is finally at an end. It was certainly worth the wait!
Not all cases are like this, thankfully, and the new procedures in the Right to Apply legislation are intended to make a marked improvement to the speed of the process. There is no inherent reason why a diversion should take so long. It is either a “good diversion” (in the sense that it meets the statutory tests and DEFRA guidance) or it is not.
It might be thought that delay benefits the objectors but that is rarely the case. Like the applicants and their advisers, we all only have so long on this earth and if you have a genuinely held objection to a proposal, surely it is better to have it considered and move on!
Any paralysis in the system usually arises from an approach that “we have always done things like that”. It is an approach which has been swept aside in so many areas of our lives without harm. The procedure retains the rights of the public to play a full part in the determination of path proposals, even through to a public inquiry if really needed.
You can always talk to us about how we can help you. Call Michael Wood on 07796 958572 or email Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org and see what solutions there are to these issues.