A Natural England Stakeholder Working Group published a report ‘Stepping Forward’ in 2010. Our understanding is that the proposals contained in the report aim to improve the current inflexible rights of way system; moving paths away from family homes is part of that. In the Natural England report it mentions the need to achieve a better fit with the modern use of land, in particular ‘ .. flexibility to mitigate any significant conflicts there might be with the modern land use’ and leads to the proposal 6.
Follow this link to view the Natural England report.
The CLA, members of the Natural England Working Group, have subsequently published their own policy paper ‘The Right Way Forward’ that expands on the Natural England report stating ‘Defra should issue specific guidance to highway authorities setting out the presumption in favour of diverting paths away from farmyards, commercial areas , gardens and other areas where privacy, safety or security is an issue.’
Follow this link to view the CLA policy paper.
All this needs to be embodied in primary legislation to give it full effect and family homes specified as excepted land.
The link below provides another example of the difficulties experienced when trying to get some common sense applied when dealing with a footpath that is clearly an intrusion into a family home and the lack of respect shown for a person’s privacy and human rights.
A Bedfordshire reader's experiences.
Intrusive Footpaths campaigns for change, trying to encourage as many people to the cause as possible. The greater our support, the louder the message!