As part of the council’s review process for these proposals, the DMR was included as an agenda item for its meeting on 21st June. The meeting was attended by a large number of villagers who came to discuss this item in particular.
Prior to the meeting a variety of views, both for and against these proposals had been expressed to individual councillors, however when given the opportunity to express their views either in writing or in person at the meeting, the only views received were that proposals 1 and 3 should not be allowed to proceed. Whilst no evidence of current usage has yet to be presented and there is no physical evidence of the paths on the ground, on going back though the minutes of the Parish Meetings (which preceded the existence of the Parish Council) and the Parish Council meetings, historic reference has been found relating to these footpaths. The Parish records cover the period from 1894 to the present day. The existence of these records has been publicised and to date only The Ramblers Association has taken the opportunity to view and take copies of the records.
The publication of proposals 1 and 3 has caused a great deal of consternation amongst the affected landowners who believe that the implications had not been adequately thought through. In particular one of the proposals would require the construction of a new footbridge over the River Otter. Landowners also raised concerns about the public’s use of existing footpaths (dog mess, littering, leaving gates open etc) and that these new proposals would further exacerbate problems. They also raised the issue about who would be expected to meet any costs that may arise in relation to the review and implementation of these proposals.
With respect to proposal 2 relating to Footpath 4, the landowner would like “F to G” to be reinstated and “F to H” deleted. The Parish Council supports this request.
The council understands that a further request has been submitted direct to DCC to alter the route of Footpath 13. This entails the redirection of the footpath to reflect how it is currently being used. The Parish Council once again supports this request.