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Footpath row decision date
7:00pm Saturday 16th February 2013 in Ilminster
A DECISION on whether a well-used footpath in Ilminster – known as Bumpy Lane – can be re-opened to the public will be made next month at County Hall.
The path, adjoining Winterhay Lane and Home Farm Way in Green Lane, had been used unchallenged for 50 years before private road signs were placed at two entrances in August.
Hundreds of people have signed a petition calling for Bumpy Lane to be adopted as a public footpath.
But members of Ilminster Town Council were told last week the county council had conducted an in-depth examination of the lane and felt it was a private road.
Town clerk Joy Norris said an officer at County Hall had recommended it should not be adopted and a decision would be made at the regulation committee meeting set for March 7.
But councillors agreed to maintain their support of the campaigners.
Cllr David Miller said: “I see no reason why we should change our views.”
But Scott Waldie, in favour of the private road status, said he felt the town council’s decision to ignore expert advice was ‘cavalier’.
He said: “Farmers and residents living and working on Northern Winterhay Lane are much distressed by the Ilminster Town Council’s cavalier reaction to Somerset County Council’s report recommending that no change be made in the ‘private road’ status of Winterhay Lane.”
The Mayor of Ilminster, Cllr Roger Swann, will attend the March meeting at County Hall in Taunton to support the Winterhay Action Group which was formed last year after the footpath was closed.
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