Access been restricted by Story Homes

Cockermouth dog walkers and residents will not be happy about this….

I have walked my dogs for 8yrs now along the railway path near the strawberry how development some times using the unofficial path that starts next to the railway line at a gate on the railway path to get to Slate Fell. This path goes across the small field, then crosses over a style/fence into the large field between Tom Rudd beck and Slate Fell estate.

The path then goes right straight to the gate or left it follows the beck for a while then it turns up the large field where it joins an official right of way that crosses the field.

Story Homes have fenced this unofficial footpath off and are now restricting access to the field. This doesn’t seem right. I have spoken to people born and bred here and this path has been used for generations as a right of way. After reading a House of Commons document SNSC 06026 surly there is something the Council can do to keep this path accessible as it would appear that under the law it can now be used as an official path. It can clearly be seen as a well used path in the ariel photo.

The most common way that rights of way come into existence is by presumed dedication. There is a long established principle that long use by the public without challenge can constitute evidence that the landowner intended to dedicate the used route as a public right of way. Presumed dedication can take place by common law or statute law. Statute law requires a period of use of 20 years from the point the use of the path is brought into question.Common law dedication may require less time.




4 thoughts on “Access been restricted by Story Homes

  1. You must try to get the paths designated as a public right of way. Story will oppose every inch. I think you need to get written evidence from pple who’ve used the path as a route from one place to another. As many as possible, covering as many yrs as possible. Many yrs who I tried to get a route on pardshaw crag designated a public right of way as it had been usedfor generations but was unsuccessful because the path simply led up to the fields around the crag. If you can it a route from A to B you have more a chance. I’m very happy to help if I can.

  2. We had the same problem with Home Group blocking up a path at St Leonard’s Close that had existed for at least 46 years. The County, Allerdale and Town Councils had no interest, and seemingly no power, at all. We were advised that Home Group’s solicitors would prolong the process so that none of us could afford or would have the time to establish it as a right of way.

  3. Dear SUSCO,

    We would like to clear up a few concerns following comments on your blog and in the local newspaper, particularly around the subject of footpaths on the Strawberry Grange development.

    As you mention in your blog (3 July), the unofficial path has been fenced off temporarily to avoid trespassing. This is for a number of reasons including the health and safety of the public while we undertake work and also due to vandalism of our site environmental protection measures. We know that the community are as keen as we are to ensure all possible measures to protect the environment are taken, so you will appreciate that it is a priority to prevent further vandalism.

    There is an alternative and official footpath, which is safer at present, and is available for the community to use as and when they wish. You will also be reassured to know that the former railway line will reopen, when it is safe to do so, as part of an improved access through the site for walkers and cyclists. This area will have improved accessibility with a more suitable surface for all users.

    Additionally, a network of public footpaths and public open space will be created within the development over time. This of course can be used by everybody, not just residents.

    We hope that this clears up any concerns you have and we will keep you updated on timescales for the improvements.

    Story Homes

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