Wednesday, 25 April 2012
Dear Mr McCarthy
Footpath 20 and 27 - Kingsley
Further to my letter of October 2011, please see enclosed I am writing to you to inform you of a number of issues with public rights of way that run over land I believe you own. These are Kingsley footpaths 20 and 27. Following a number of complaints from local residents, I conducted a site visit on 5th of April 2011 and noted the following issues:
Recently installed stiles at points A B C D and E (please refer to enclosed map).
These stiles serve no purpose other than to obstruct walkers, are not authorised (under section 147 of the Highways Act 1980) and are not detailed in the definitive statement. They could therefore constitute an offence under section 137 of the Highways Act (1980). Furthermore, due to the nature of their construction, they are unfit for purpose as they do not conform to BS5709:2006 and the barbed wire attached to them is a health and safety hazard.
The locked gate at point A
The locking of this gate with a padlock and chain is also a wilful obstruction and could be seen as an offence under HA(1980) s137.
The signs at points A and C
These signs are false, and intimidatory and do not remove any liability the landowner may have for any accidents that may occur in this area. They in fact show that the presence of a possible health and safety hazard has been acknowledged but that steps have not been taken to remove this hazard under the landowners duty.
The barbed wire fences that separate walkers from vehicles using the track have been installed so as to pinch walkers along the line of a grubbed out hedge. When enclosing a previously unenclosed path we request . that barbed wire only be used where it is needed for stock control purposes and that a minimum usable (i.e. not broken ground) width of 2.5metres is made available for walkers.
I would also like to add that when approached by someone acting on your behalf he was both rude and intimidatory and we also have several reports from members of the public indicating the same behaviour towards them – the police have been made aware of this.
In order to resolve this matter I request that the following work is undertaken by 25th May 2012. Please confirm to myself that this work has been carried out, if you fail to do so, Hampshire County Council may take further action against you:
Removal of the stiles at the points indicated.
Removal of any signs indicating that the public right of way is closed.
Removal of any barbed wire affecting the path.
The lock on the gate at point A to be removed and the gate to remain unlocked.
Resiting of the barbed wire fences along both footpath 20 and 27 to allow a minimum usable width of 2.5 metres.
I apologise if you are not the owner of this land but would request that you forward this letter onto the relevant person.