Author Topic: Leach Fields footpaths  (Read 136934 times)

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Offline saffie

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #180 on: June 10, 2011, 09:26:19 pm »
I miss the paths greatly too, and would be happy to give evidence of using them on a daily basis with our dogs.

I would love it if these were reopened.
 

Offline Editor

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #181 on: June 10, 2011, 09:26:51 pm »
Result, well done Mike and all others involved.  This shows the power of local action/opinion. Excellent.
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Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #182 on: June 13, 2011, 02:12:50 pm »
Localism / Big Society at its best!

This will put the cat amongst the pigeons.

Welwyn Hatfield Council is currently consulting on how many new homes should be built in the borough during the next 20 years.  They discuss 5 levels of construction, with the highest level requiring substantial encroachments into the Green Belt, including up to 263 new homes on the Leach Fields, which is Green Belt land.

An explanatory Green Belt Soc Newsletter is just being printed which offers guidance on what you can do to oppose such an idea.  It should be delivered to all houses in the next two or so weeks, and be on the society's stand at Village Day.  The stand will have a copy of the Leach Fields map and decision letter.

Offline Nick

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #183 on: July 09, 2011, 11:12:26 am »
We have noticed this morning that the corner of Leach Fields adjacent to Bluebridge Road (near the lovely new flats) has been fenced off so that a group of Porcine residents can move in. This will make restablishment of the footpaths a bit tricky, if not smelly  ;D
 

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #184 on: July 10, 2011, 10:19:24 pm »
put you off buying the flats - developer must be pleased!
 

Offline epiphany

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #185 on: July 11, 2011, 09:47:05 am »
put you off buying the flats - developer must be pleased!

It seems to me, more than a little paradoxical that in a community that appears to value the
surroundings of the green belt that the concerns of a property developer appear to outweigh
the embracing of the sights and sounds (and smells) of the countryside!
 

Buster

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #186 on: July 11, 2011, 11:36:21 am »
Whatever.
 

Offline Mermaid

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #187 on: August 23, 2011, 06:11:59 pm »
Further to MikeL's post on June 10 2011 in the thread Re: Leach Fields, notices will be posted this week at the boundaries to Gobions regarding the footpaths, and a notice will also appear in this week's Welwyn Hatfield Times. Here is a link to the map showing the footpaths:   http://www.brookmans.com/walks/leachfields.pdf

Accordingly, MikeL and I will shortly be contacting those people who filled in user evidence forms and indicated that they might be willing to give evidence.

In the meantime, it is not too late to complete a form, if you feel that you would like to help - the more the merrier. The period being examined is the 20 years, prior to March 2009. Note that you do not have to have walked there for the entire 20 years. Please IM MikeL or myself if you would like one of the forms.

I attach below the background information:

Background information
In May 2009 an application was made to Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) to record 3 public footpaths over Leach Fields.  It was supported by ‘user evidence’ from local people who had used the routes for over 20 years prior to March 2009 when fences etc. were erected around the site.

Application and investigation process
An application to amend the Definitive Map and Statement for Hertfordshire (the legal record of public rights of way in the county) involves a legal process.  Our application was made under section 53 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.  HCC receives many such applications and so there is a prioritisation procedure to assess and score the cases, after which they are added to the waiting list.  Our case came to the top of the list in October 2010 and an officer started the investigation.  This involves HCC checking historical maps and documentary sources for evidence of the routes and assessing the ‘user evidence’ submitted with the application.  All this information is included in an ‘Investigation Report’ which is sent out for consultation to the applicant, landowner, district and parish councils and various user groups, so that they have the opportunity to submit any additional evidence either for or against the existence of the application routes.   After the consultation period, HCC holds a Decision Meeting at which each piece of evidence is assessed in relation to the legal tests.   If there is sufficient evidence in support of a public right of way, an Order is made.  If there is not, the case is closed.

Decision to make an Order to show footpaths
HCC’s decision for the Leach Fields application was that there was sufficient evidence to ‘reasonably allege’ that 4 public footpaths exist.  HCC has therefore made and sealed an Order to show these and a Notice advertising the Order will be published in the Welwyn Hatfield Times on 24 August 2011 and sent to the required people/organisations.  Notices will also be erected on site for 6 weeks.  During this period, anyone can make a representation or an objection to the Order.  If the HCC receives no objections, it can confirm the Order and record the footpaths on the Definitive Map and Statement.  If HCC receives objections which are not later withdrawn, the legislation requires that the case is submitted to the Planning Inspectorate who will decide how to resolve it.  This would require holding a public hearing or a public inquiry or through written representations

Public inquiry likely
As the landowner of Leach Fields does not want the footpaths and our case is mainly based on user evidence, it is very likely to go to a public inquiry.  This means that the success of our case will depend on the strength and quality of the evidence given by local people about their use of the routes at the public inquiry.   We have a number of people who submitted evidence with the application in 2009 but we are interested in hearing from others who could help our case.

How can you help?
We are particularly keen to hear from people who used the footpaths regularly during all or most of the critical 20 year period of 1989-2009.  If you are one of those people, please could you get in touch using the contact details shown below.  Initially, we will just ask you to complete a ‘user evidence form’ to assess the strength of your evidence.  If your evidence is good, we may ask if you would be willing to give a statement and attend the inquiry which will be held locally, probably in a church hall.  Although the inquiry is not likely to happen until well into 2012, we do have to prepare our case within the next few months in order to send it to the Planning Inspectorate.
 

Offline saffie

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #188 on: August 23, 2011, 06:16:30 pm »
Hi, I can't find contact details, but can get myself, hubbie and my parents in law who used the paths to fill one in for you and my dog walker too.  Please email me info and I will getit done ASAP.
 

Offline MikeL

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #189 on: August 23, 2011, 09:47:51 pm »
Saffie, I have IM'd you. Please let me know if you don't receive it.

MikeL
 

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #190 on: August 23, 2011, 09:52:07 pm »
For those who may miss the link in the earlier thread, here is a cropped picture of the main area.
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Offline Mr Green

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #191 on: August 23, 2011, 10:21:37 pm »
I'm happy to complete also (and give evidence) but don't have a form. Can they be uploaded to the site.
 

Offline Mighty Oak

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #192 on: August 24, 2011, 07:27:31 am »
Hi  Am also willing to complete a form, please can you send one or make available to download.
 

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #193 on: August 24, 2011, 10:16:38 am »
In the meantime, it is not too late to complete a form, if you feel that you would like to help - the more the merrier.

Hi Mermaid, in view of the requests for forms (copied below), if you or Mike want to email me the form I can put it on the Brookmans Park Newsletter server for people to download.

David

Hi, I can't find contact details, but can get myself, hubbie and my parents in law who used the paths to fill one in for you and my dog walker too.  Please email me info and I will getit done ASAP.

I'm happy to complete also (and give evidence) but don't have a form. Can they be uploaded to the site.

Hi  Am also willing to complete a form, please can you send one or make available to download.
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Offline MikeL

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #194 on: August 24, 2011, 01:46:42 pm »
Dave

HCC have asked us not to put the forms on the site, but to ask people to contact me directly. I believe this is because the instructions on the forms refer to returning them to the HCC offices, but the process has passed that stage now. Additionally, the forms have a tick box for people who do not wish their details divulged. As a result, HCC wouldn't be able to tell us about anyone who had returned the form to HCC with this box ticked ticked. Which does defeat the object somewhat!

I have IM'd (or is it PM'd?) everyone who has asked so far. If anyone would like a form, please contact me directly and I will either email you a copy or bring one round if you live locally.

MikeL
 

Offline MikeL

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #195 on: September 08, 2011, 10:13:49 pm »
We are still eager to hear from anyone who used to walk the footpaths in Leach Fields since before 1990 and who has not filled in a Public Rights of Way Evidence Form. Although we have had forms from quite a few people who meet this criteria, the bigger pool of people we have who are prepared to attend an inquiry to confirm that the paths were used unopposed for 20 years or more, the better.

If you know of someone who has been walking the fields for a long time but does not read this forum (hard to believe I know!) please ask them to get in touch with me on 01707661737.

Thanks
 

Offline saffie

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #196 on: September 11, 2011, 09:16:53 pm »
Hi Mike, have filled in forms for you and dropped it round, but somehow people have heard that these are not the right forms and do not need to be filled in as there are now notices in Gobions apparently saying (I have not seen these so only quoting what I have heard) that if there are no complaints then the paths will be reopened in October.

Maybe you could you let me know if any of this is correct as I gave a form to someone to fill in who I know has walked the paths for years and they were advised not to by a regular reader of this site as it was unnecessary.

I hope you can clear up any confusion as I think it is important for us all to do our bit.  If we can to get these paths reopened.

 

Offline Mermaid

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #197 on: September 12, 2011, 11:24:33 am »
Maybe you could you let me know if any of this is correct as I gave a form to someone to fill in who I know has walked the paths for years and they were advised not to by a regular reader of this site as it was unnecessary.

The forms which MikeL and I have provided since the post on 23rd August are correct.

The 'regular reader' is wrong in this instance. It IS still necessary to fill in a form if you haven't done one before - particularly if you have been a regular walker of the paths in the 20 years under examination - AND would be willing to give evidence to a Public Enquiry if there is one.

Please encourage your contact to go ahead and fill in the form if they fit the criteria.

Many thanks Saffie

Mermaid
 

Offline Nick

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #198 on: November 08, 2011, 07:30:43 pm »
Heard that there were no appeals received against reopening the footpaths. Does anyone know if this means that we can expect the footpaths through Leach Fields to be open again soon?
 

Offline Mermaid

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #199 on: November 08, 2011, 10:43:31 pm »
As from today, Herts CC have put site notices up in the relevant areas for the confirmation of the order. This is also being advertised in the Welwyn + Hatfield Times tomorrow 9 November.  The notices have to be up for 6 weeks, then we will be able to post a further update on here.
 

Offline hilarycarlen

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #200 on: November 20, 2011, 04:19:42 pm »
I missed this whole thread, until hubby and I saw the footpath notice today by Bluebridge and saw that the big steel gate had been left open.  So we thought "that's great" and went off on our old perimetre walk again, marvelling at having this nice walk back.  Then were met by an indignant horse lady in the meadow by the open space, who insisted that there was no footpath and we were trespassing and the gate had been left open in error.  Hey ho. The fence has been broken down at the end of the meadow, making a scramble-able way over at the end where the footpath will come out (where it used to be).  So we had a lovely walk all round the open space, lake, woods and back past Raebrook, just like the old days.  But the big gates were locked again at Bluebridge on our way back, so we were just lucky.

What's happening?  Anything we can do?  I didn't see the postings about the user evidence, but if there's any use belatedly, will happily give evidence of regularly walking those paths since we moved here in 2000.  We were really sad when they were all closed off.
 

Offline MikeL

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #201 on: November 20, 2011, 05:15:28 pm »
Hilary

You were a bit early I'm afraid! I'm now quite confident that the paths will be re-opened. But it will take time. There is no longer any need for anyone to fill in any evidence forms, that stage has passed and the council's rights of way officer has agreed that footpaths do exist accross the fields, but there is still the possibility of the landowners appealing. It's now just a matter of waiting whilst all the required legal procedures are followed through to their conclusion. As soon as there is anything more definite, I will post it here

Mike
 

Offline horses leach field

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #202 on: November 20, 2011, 10:10:59 pm »
Over the weekend unknown persons have allowed the rescued pigs to escape from their secure compound next to the Raybrook farm footpath. A brown Staff type dogs was then seen to attack the pigs causing them injuries, the vet from the RVC attended. One pig died the next day.

The pigs are held in a secure compound, but persons unknown are opening the gate and so allowing them to escape. If you happen to come across these persons please inform the Police, or if you happen to come across an escaped pig, they are very friendly, but please keep your dog under control.

The footpaths are as yet not open to the public, once they are all dogs will have to be kept under control,(ie on a lead), as livestock is present on Leachs Filed.
 

Offline James Bentall

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #203 on: November 20, 2011, 10:20:58 pm »
Over the weekend unknown persons have allowed the rescued pigs to escape from their secure compound next to the Raybrook farm footpath. A brown Staff type dogs was then seen to attack the pigs causing them injuries, the vet from the RVC attended. One pig died the next day.

Very sorry to hear that. Whatever some elements of our local community may feel about the loss of Leach's fields to walk on, this behaviour is clearly not unacceptable. I presume these are the same animals that were in Gobions Open Space a few weeks ago?
James Bentall, Brookmans Park, Herts.
I post in a personal capacity and not on behalf of North Mymms Parish Council
 

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #204 on: November 21, 2011, 08:45:14 am »
Not good - people should not be allowed to have dogs if they cannot control them.
 

Offline LuckyDuck

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #205 on: November 22, 2011, 05:07:46 pm »
Yes two pigs were attacked. What an awful person to sabotage the pigs enclosure and set the dogs on the pigs. They have cheekly totted around the woods but they are so friendly.

I doubt the footpaths will happen in leach fields. As now its used for keeping animals on.
But i have seen that somepeople have been flytipping their garden waste over the fence's. Tut tut
 

Offline Mermaid

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #206 on: November 22, 2011, 05:58:43 pm »
I doubt the footpaths will happen in leach fields. As now its used for keeping animals on.

On the contrary, as posted above, the council's rights of way officer has agreed that footpaths do exist across the fields. Ultimately these will be marked out and the animals will have an enclosure away from the footpaths.
 

Offline LuckyDuck

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #207 on: November 22, 2011, 06:09:54 pm »
Yes but there will only be a path fenced in for the walkers and they will have to keep thier dogs on leads. The problem with this is some people will not like it and will not stick to the paths, and walk through fields. Then that just makes more problems.

I think that there shouldnt be any footpaths on leach fields. As the animals will suffer for it.
 

Offline Mermaid

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #208 on: November 22, 2011, 07:48:52 pm »
I think that there shouldnt be any footpaths on leach fields. As the animals will suffer for it.

As stated, the Rights of Way have been established, and there will be designated footpaths across Leach Fields, whether you agree with it or not. The evidence given looked at a specific 20-year period, but there are many families who have been walking the paths for very many more years than that.

I'm sure that whoever is renting some land to the owners of the pigs will be able to fence off a secure area and make them safe. There were sheep fenced in on that field for at least a couple of years whilst people were still freely walking in Leach Fields, and that seemed to work fine.

 

Offline LuckyDuck

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Re: Leach Fields footpaths
« Reply #209 on: November 22, 2011, 08:37:36 pm »
Its not the fencing thats the problem, its the people who might not use the fenced path and take there dogs on the non fenced field where the horses and other animals are.
 

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