An Inspector confirms an order to divert a PROW out of a garden because it is intrusive and invades the privacy of the owner.
This inspectors decision was challenged in court by the Open Spaces Society.
Common sense triumphed and the decision was upheld.
This decision is now very relevant in the current health crisis. The presence of walkers, riders and cyclists in the garden of a house or in a farmyard or other enclosed space exercising a public right of way is a bad thing when the owners of the land are following guidance, self-isolating or maintaining social distancing, or protecting their health and that of their employees working to produce the food which the country needs.
The failure of DEFRA to address this by a closure of such paths is appalling and totally unacceptable.
They readily closed down the countryside to prevent the spread of foot and mouth disease but there is no acknowledgement of the health risk created by allowing use by the public of intrusive paths.
Landowners’ concerns about coming into contact with the public using a path are dismissed as ‘exaggerated’ by user groups.
Yet,in this decision it was the health impact on the landowners which was used as the strongest reason to move the path from the garden.
There are such double standards and muddled thinking when is comes to Public Rights of Way issues.
In this decision we have a court ruling that a path must be diverted from a garden and yet public paths which have never existed continue to be claimed ( with scant old historic evidence ) to go through them
Mine is one of them!