Bricket Wood footpath inquiry adjourned due to crowds
PUBLISHED: 08:15 08 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:01 06 May 2010
A PUBLIC inquiry to decide if a footpath should be reopened after it was suddenly closed in 2001 has been adjourned because so many witnesses came forward to save it. The inquiry to rule on the future of the route through the north side of Blackgreen Wood
A PUBLIC inquiry to decide if a footpath should be reopened after it was suddenly closed in 2001 has been adjourned because so many witnesses came forward to save it.
The inquiry to rule on the future of the route through the north side of Blackgreen Wood in Bricket Wood was scheduled for two days at the end of last month but could not be completed as so many supporters had to be cross-examined by the inspector.
The case will be completed on May 12 and 13.
St Stephen Parish Council recently bought the south side of the woodland, which is divided by the M25, but the north side is owned by Ken Rudkin, whose sports and country club in Lye Lane backs onto the area.
Before the footpath was closed in 2001, walkers could follow the route from Park Street to Bricket Wood through the north side of the woodland.
Following the closure, the parish council applied to Herts County Council (HCC) to place the route on the definitive map - but after five years the request was denied.
The parish council then appealed to the Secretary of State who then agreed it should be put on the definitive map with a Modification Order and ordered HCC to enforce it.
But during the notification stage, two objections were raised which resulted in the matter going to public inquiry.
Parish council chairman John Bell said: "There were more witnesses coming forward than anticipated and some of the cross-examinations went on for some time.
"The hall was quite crowded with people, mainly supporters of the path because I think when local people lost the access through the woods they were obviously quite upset."
Cllr Bell added: "It's been a long-winded process but we hope that will be the end of it.