Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fairlawns Footpath Public Enquiry....

Someone has brought the public enquiry about the threatened closure of the footpath at the back of Shipbourne church. I wasn't aware of this at all to be honest. It seems that Tonbridge Rugby Club is the somewhat unusual venue for these court room like procedures. Here's the information that was sent to me today:

Just to remind you that the public enquiry about moving a famous
footpath in shipbourne is on this week. It's being held in the Tonbridge
rugby club. Started yesterday, and continues today (Wed) and Thursday,
before moving to Maidstone next week. Members of the public are entitled
to be there (9.30-5ish)

The atmosphere is electric, as any court of Law, with the inspector as
the judge. In one corner we have the hugely powerful and wealthy
landowner and their top barristers, aided and abetted by KCC. In the
other, brave little Shipbourne parish council  and doughty Kentish men
(and women) trying to protect walkers rights against all the odds.

The path is in Shipbourne behind the church. At the kissing gate it is
the one on the right. Fairlawns estates have been working on closing
this path for many years, since they built a fine house next to the path
and surrounded it with 'grounds'. This route is part of the Greensand
way and was an ancient drovers way, so the path has been used for
centuries, and is still heavily walked today.

Will wealth and stealth win again?

Chris Miall

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