Footpath bid lost ‘in limbo’

Members of the Reach out Residents sub group. From left, Geoff Thorpe, Sally Wyatt, Barrie Green, Vaughan Gallaghe and Carole Tarzza.
Members of the Reach out Residents sub group. From left, Geoff Thorpe, Sally Wyatt, Barrie Green, Vaughan Gallaghe and Carole Tarzza.

Campaigners who have fought to stop the diversion of a popular footpath in Hucknall say they are ‘in limbo’ after seeing revised plans which appear to retain the diversion.

Members of the Reach Out Residents (ROR) group say the new application from Muse Developments, the company behind the major mixed-use development at Watnall Road, is ‘confusing and frustrating.’

This week ROR member Barry Green received a letter from Mansfield and Ashfield’s legal services department which stated the diversion order is still in place.

Geoff Thorpe, chairman of the Reach Out Residents sub-committee, said: “I can’t understand the plans at all. The diversion appears to be still there. Ashfield District Council can’t clarify whether the diversion order has been withdrawn or not. This is really frustrating and we have been left in limbo.”

But Mr Thorpe, 64, of Farley’s Lane, a former district councillor who served on the planning board, says the plans appear to show no change.

He said: “The statement doesn’t say the diversion order has finished. We assume that they are putting a bridge over the footpath - but this doesn’t appear on the plans.”

The group was formed in 2013 to oppose plans to divert the path linking Farleys Lane, Hucknall, with Bulwell Hall Park, amid fears a new path would bypass Farleys Brook nature reserve.

Ashfield council said two processes were responsible for the confusion.

The original order, made on August 17, has not been withdrawn and residents were contacted as part of this planning process, which runs until November 13. On the second application, made by Muse for the same site, the footpath is not diverted. The matter will be reported at the next Planning Committee Meeting, which ‘is likely to be held on November 26’.

Muse Developments said the new application will keep the existing footpath ‘on its current alignment’ and provide an alternative pedestrian route.