Selston row path is closed to public

A FOOTPATH in Selston which has been at the centre of an argument spanning more than 40 years is to close.

Footpath 72, which passes right through an Inkerman Street resident’s garden, is to be shut following a meeting of Nottinghamshire Council’s Rights of Way Committee on Wednesday.

Speaking at the meeting, the affected homeowner, Julie Parker, said no one used the 70 metre long path because it did not go anywhere.

“The path is not a short cut for anyone or to anything. It is absolutely ludicrous that this is happening. For four years I have been under stress through this.”

Ms Parker told councillors when she moved into her home in 1989, there was no mention of the public footpath.

But when the footpath was legally recognised as a public right of way in 2007, walkers had the right to walk through her garden without obstruction.

A survey conducted by Selston Parish Council last year had concluded a significant number of residents wanted the path closed.

Some residents said the path was affected by anti-social behaviour - although this was disputed at the meeting. Others said no one used it.

But there was evidence some residents wanted it kept open and the Nottinghamshire Footpaths Preservation Society and the Ramblers Association had objected to the extinguishment order.

Selston Parish Council and Ashfield District Council supported the extinguishment of the path.

Selston Councillor Gail Turner said there was no evidence the path had ever been used as a public right of way - and for a period part of it had been used as a skittle alley.

“There was a private path to houses which have long since been demolished,” she said.

“I think that local people have made it clear that they do not want this path.”

Councillors voted against their officer’s recommendation to keep the footpath open.

Long time campaigner Frank Wood, of Mansfield, but originally of Selston said he would appeal the decision.

“If the decision was based on people not using the footpath, which it should not have been, then they should close five other footpaths within 500 yards of this one because they are not being walked on either.”

Should the extinguishment order be opposed, the dispute could go in front of the Secretary of State.