• Council decided to add seven new bridleways across land, no prior discussion or consultation
• Caused great stress, anxiety and frustration to family, wife had a stroke brought on by the experience
• Safety not considered, new routes placed down busy farm track and across railway track
1997. Application by the BHS to create a bridleway through front yard and garden and into a working farmyard where previously no public route had existed.
Application rejected by officers and decision supported by councillors.
The application has been referred twice to the Local Government office for the East Midlands who have supported the county’s decision to reject it both times.
This decision to reject is supported by the parish council, two MPs, past and present (this case has been going on since 1997), county councillors, past and present, local borough councillors several local footpath groups and the past Mayor.
A map purporting to show the route was actually found to show the route of a stream.
During the course of this the owner of the farm became so distraught that depression set in, he had a breakdown and committed suicide. His son and daughter in law took on the running of the family farm. They are the 4th generation.
Upon appeal by the BHS the case was referred to DEFRA where an inspector (who had never visited the location) flew in the face of localism and all the support for rejection and the order was made in February 2011.
The case received a number of letters of support for the rejection from walkers and local people, whereas the modification order received no letters of support.
The county council despite legal advice to remain neutral were so aggrieved at the injustice that they put in a formal objection.
At the time of writing the case is going to a public enquiry, with estimated legal fees for the family of £40,000. This to fight the creation of a bridleway that had never existed.
Probable destruction of the viability of the farm and bankruptcy.
Confidence in any government saying on the side of hardworking families completely shattered
• New footpath created by council subsequently attempt to upgrade for vehicle access
• Council did not notify the owners of the land
• Criminal proceedings lead to owner having mental breakdown, was hospitalised and within days of being discharged committed suicide
• Owner subjected to brutal onslaught by council, the worry was a contributory factor to his suicide.