The courts are littered with overturned results of Authorities and Inspectors. But rarely are these from home owners who are normal workers, a fire fighter, a farmers widow or a retired school teacher.
They are from companies or well off individuals who can afford 6 figure fights, who can employ solicitors on hundreds per hour or barristers for thousands a day, who can employ specialist researchers or experts which is all out of reach of the average man or women in the street.
The system is operated by Officers with a bias to increase rights of way and decided by inspectors who have come from the same role.
Homeowners who have lived without hindrance for years are suddenly faced by claims from organised user groups that a right of way may have existed years before, long abandoned if it did exist at all.
Ignoring previous options to claim when it fell out of use or by the 1932 or 1949 process they stick in claims that sit on a shelf for years, all the while blighting the home, devaluing it and making it impossible to sell.
When it does see the light of day it’s the land owner versus the council.
Unlimited funds v a state pension.
Retired coal miner v barrister
It matters not a jot what the council search said when they purchased their home. If it’s found “on the balance of probability” that a path was under their home 200 years ago then it’s a path today.
Well, it’s easy to divert?
No, it’s not.
Even if it can be diverted it costs thousands. One such example is in Kent, where a hidden path allegedly ran under 5 houses. Impossible to stop up, according to the council.
They have set about diverting. The cost…. 4.5 million!