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Ex Barnardo’s Footpath Action Group

Ex Barnardo’s Footpath Action Group Update

10 October 2013 to all our Evidence of Use Form Responders

 

Dear Supporter,

 

You may have heard that there has been significant progress in our attempt to get the Ex Barnardo’s footpath reopened. We are pleased to report that the Order to modify the definitive map and statement for the area by adding to them the public footpath from the Eastern end of the Tadcaster Viaduct to Wighill Lane was made on 25 September 2013 by NYCC. The order and map are posted at either end of the blocked off footpath. It has been published in the Selby Times and a copy can be seen at the Tadcaster Library during normal hours.

We now enter the formal public consultation stage of the process, until now we have been at the informal consultation stage. This now means that any representation or objection relating to the order must be in writing, stating the grounds on which these are made, and sent to the Definitive Map Officer at NYCC. All such representations or objections must be lodged not later than 05 December 2013.

 

If no representations or objections are made to the order, or if any so made are withdrawn, NYCC may itself confirm the order. If any objection is not withdrawn the order, with the objection, has to be submitted to the Secretary of State for confirmation. In that case the matter passes to the SofS for resolution and each stage of the process thereafter has a strict time limit with a maximum of 35 weeks. If the SofS feels it necessary he may appoint an Inspector to investigate and arrive at a decision. An Inspector could hold an inquiry locally at which he/she will publicly examine all the evidence before arriving at a conclusion. It is at this inquiry stage that witnesses supporting or objecting to the order can be cross examined so as to determine the facts.

 

No member of the public will be required to attend the inquiry unless they feel happy to do so.

On the other hand the SofS or Inspector may feel that the strength of the evidence is so strong he/she can resolve the matter by way of an informal hearing without the need of an inquiry.

 

During the past weeks the Brewery Legal Team have been in Tadcaster, sometimes knocking on doors unannounced (Cold Calling), asking questions of Evidence of Use Form responders about certain aspects of their statements. They are entitled to speak to members of the public who have supported the DMMO application but only with the individuals approval. However, it’s the way and manner in which some of these interviews have been initiated and conducted which has caused great concern amongst a number of people in the community. We have therefore asked the Town Council to write a letter to the Brewery on behalf of these individuals deploring the methods used in the town by their Legal Team recently, as it has been upsetting to the community. We also are aware of one person who has made a formal complaint to the Law Society about them breaching the Solicitors Code of Conduct. You should all have received a letter from NYCC saying that they would not employ the approach used by the Brewery Legal Team. If any of you have had such an approach, or know of anyone else who has been approached, we would like to hear from you. We can be contacted at barnados.footpath@hotmail.co.uk

 

This letter is being sent to you as we are keen to get the update out to everyone who filled in an EofU form. We have already emailed this message to all our supporters on our email list and should you wish to be kept informed regularly you could perhaps let us have your email address (if you have one). By doing so it would help us to communicate more effectively with you and be of tremendous assistance in getting our message out to everyone who supported this DMMO application.

 

We wish to thank all our supporters for your help in bringing about this significant achievement. It means we have completed an important step in our attempt to have the footpath reopened. We appreciate that this may not be the end of the process but with your continuing support we will see this through to the end.

 

The community was very upset by the action of the new landowner of the Barnardo’s site (Sam Smiths Old Brewery) when, in March 2012, they blocked off the footpath which people had used ‘as of right’ for many years. Many local townspeople and others found it difficult to understand why they would do such a thing and felt it as being an abuse of power and a disregard for the feelings in the community. The Brewery were given an opportunity in the early days after the fence and wall went up blocking the footpath to reflect on their actions but refused to compromise. They sadly misjudged the mood of hundreds of residents in the town.

 

It has taken some time for us to achieve this stage and there may be some more time to go before we can see the footpath reopened. However, our evidence is strong and our case is justified at law. We knew it was not going to be a swift and easy process but be assured we are here for the long haul, if required.

 

Thanks, The Ex Barnardo’s Footpath Action Group.

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