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Mullion Meadows dedicated footpath 'unfeasible'
10:00am Friday 31st August 2012 in Cornwall
A plan to create a dedicated legal footpath across the driveway of Mullion Meadows has been withdrawn, with the owner calling it “unfeasible”.
Martin Raftery, who owns the small complex of businesses in Mullion, said the situation would now remain as it always had done, where there was a non-formal agreement that anyone could walk across the driveway.
He had originally offered to dedicate a new section of footpath if objectors to the diversion of Footpath 37, which runs across his land, withdrew their complaints. This would have prevented the need for an inquiry by the Planning Inspectorate. This did not happen, however, with the inquiry going ahead and the diversion ultimately given permission.
Since then Mr Raftery has been in talks with Cornwall Council about the footpath, with the two parties unable to reach an agreement. Mr Raftery said the council wanted the footpath to be two metres wide, across the driveway to Mullion Meadows, with two exits.
He said the width the council was asking for was just not possible, as the complex would lose too much of its driveway. If cars were parked along the edge, there would not be enough space for cars to drive past, he added.
Mr Raftery said: “It’s just not feasible. People can still walk there – it’s just not a dedicated footpath. But we’re not stopping anybody walking through.”
A spokesperson for Cornwall Council said: “The council understands that the owner of Mullion Meadows has withdrawn an offer that he had made to dedicate two additional sections of public footpath on land at Mullion Meadows.
“The decision to withdraw the offer of dedication is entirely within the gift of the owner of the land and the council has no power to compel the landowner to dedicate the paths.”
The spokesperson added that the Footpath 37 diversion order had been confirmed and had come into effect. The row over the footpath at Mullion Meadows followed an application by Mr Raftery to divert part of the public Footpath 37 and a section of unrecorded footpath, as well as ‘stop up’ two sections of unrecorded footpath, in order to complete work on a new office building. This had been built on top of a section of footpath. This led to an outcry by some members of the public who argued that the footpath should not be moved.
Construction work had been put on hold since October 2010 while a decision over the footpath was reached.
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