Footpath feud nears a conclusion

ROW: Sheila Foley and Donna Naylor show the footpath behind Fairfield Road. (d03091007
ROW: Sheila Foley and Donna Naylor show the footpath behind Fairfield Road. (d03091007

RESIDENTS who have been feuding with the council for more than four years over a footpath say they are delighted at its decision to close a section of it.

Donna and Colin Naylor, whose house backs onto the footpath in Fairfield Road, Heckmondwike, have been at loggerheads with Kirklees over the right of way which runs from the top of Hollinbank Lane to the bottom of Fairfield Road.

The top and bottom sections of the path are separated by a small gap in the middle, where there is access from Fairfield Road to the new Redberry Avenue housing estate off Hollinbank Lane. But home owners said they have been plagued by youths congregating on the footpath and causing a nuisance.

This week the council’s planning and highways committee met to decide whether to keep the footpath open, close a section of the footpath or close all of it.

Members voted to close the section of the footpath that runs from Hollinbank Lane down to the side of the Redberry Avenue site and round to the bottom of the children’s playground.

Mrs Naylor said: “Ideally we would have liked the whole lot closed off, but this is the next best thing. It means that people have no reason to cut through as it doesn’t go anywhere. It has been a long battle and we are all delighted at the outcome.”

Other Fairfield Road residents include Sheila Foley who said she was worried that if kept open, the path would be used as a crime run to go from Hollinbank, through the gap in Fairfield Road and then onto the Dale Lane estate.

Coun Viv Kendrick (Lab, Heck) who has been supporting residents, said: “They have been tormented by anti social behaviour and a lot of congregating goes on by the houses which border the footpath in Fairfield Road. People can see into their gardens and in some case their houses. Privacy and overbearing was a big issue there.”

Coun Kendrick said objectors had 28 days to object.

“If there are any objections then the matter will go back to committee and then councillors will have to decide where to take it from there,” she said.

A council spokeswoman said a legal order would be published and open for consultation.