First, the background to this story… Local residents may have noticed that a new sign reading ‘Private Land No Public Access’ has appeared by the field entrance beside the Chevin Road railway bridge. There are two more: one by the approach to the next bridge below Swainsley Farm; the other at the bottom of the slope leading to the sewage works.
Milford resident Griff Everett believes this is an attempt to close off a pair of paths which, he can personally attest, have been used since around 1974.
As a result, Griff is to make an application to Derbyshire County Council to add to the Statutory Footpaths list those two routes between Chevin Road Milford and the existing riverside path by Belper Sewage Works.
Here is the latest news on this from Griff:
‘I received a phone call from the Strutt Estate agent recently. She warned me not to raise unreasonable expectations about the registration of the footpath routes, as last year the estate submitted a document called a Section 31(6) deposition to the County Council. She said that the Estate had no record of any footpaths across the fields in question, and that the document precludes the recording of any further footpaths.
She didn’t seem to know about the track shown on the 1900 OS map.
I told her the campaign would continue nevertheless, as it’s not clear that the Estate and the Council have followed the correct procedures.
In the end, Griff received 34 witness statements about the crossfield route, and 27 for the riverside path, for periods of up to 53 years! Griff would like to thank all contributors. ‘We now have to wait and see’ says Griff. ‘Extra thanks to those who agreed to give evidence at any inquiry, if necessary – let’s hope not.’