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Footpath closure where footpath goes through home/garden/drive.

32 Comments 25th October 2014

The footpath law in the UK should be reviewed to protect the rights of privacy and security of homeowners where a footpath goes through their home/garden/drive.  

Why does this matter?

The network of footpaths have increasingly become more of a leisure activity without consideration of the impact this is having on those who live in the community.   The footpath law should be changed to take into account homeowners that are now affected.   Footpath users show little respect for private homes and intrude into the life of those who live in these homes.   Where there are existing footpaths closeby that do not pass through homes but take users to the same destination these alternative footpath routes should be used and the ones causing intrusion closed.   The 'rights' seem to be with the footpath user, not with the owner of the property.   Walkers have been found wandering around our house, our garden, staring into our lounge and dogs are left to roam unleashed.   Children cannot be left alone in the garden where strangers can be found wandering at any time.   All this in spite of the footpath being well marked.  

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32 Responses to Footpath closure where footpath goes through home/garden/drive.

  1. Ann says:

    I totally agree. We have a footpath running alongside our house and down our yard. I have now been told to remove our front gate as the walkers are too frail to open a gate. We have had things stolen, one horse beaten, and I have had to give up breeding sheep after 30 years as the walkers will not close gates or respect property. My council tax is now being wasted by a woman who tells me she walks footpaths regularly to make sure they are Ok for walkers. I thought our councils were short of money. All the rights are with the ‘users’.

  2. Anthony Wilson says:

    Footpaths are a marvellous thing but there needs to be consideration for people’s private and business life. Some of them are totally our of date leading for example to dangerous spots on motorways. Some council officials involved seem to be pro path fanatics .

  3. Ian McIntosh says:

    Rationalising the footpath network is a must. I have a footpath through my garden and actually through my dining room. When applying to close or divert the County Council are completely obstructive.Why should a homeowners privacy be invaded when there are thousands of other paths that can be used. Nobody has walked on my footpath in the forty years in which i have lived here and ramblers do not really enjoy walking through gardens. So if walkers don,t want to use a path and the householder dosn’t want it why can the Council not use an ounce of common sense and close it.

  4. Martin Hughes says:

    If the footpath runs through your garden and dining room then your house must have been built over the public right of way and prevented the public lawfully using the right of way.

    • L Barnes says:

      Technically correct but some of these “paths” actually disappeared in reality a hundred years ago? Not one person used the “footpath” across our lawn for the 15 years we’ve lived there but over the last 2-3 years there seems to have been an explosion in numbers walking.

      I think there’s a difference between what’s legally correct with RoWs and whats fair and frankly humane to homeowners. That’s why the law must be changed.

    • Richard Maher says:

      Yes, this is correct and in my case the plan showing a path through the corner of my house was submitted by the planning applicant 50 years ago to Nottinghamshire County Council they gave the planning permission. 50 years later they have declared their intent to knock down the house in writing. The Definitive maps are a joke and make it impossible to determine these issues. These incompetent authorities and their defective! maps ruin lives and take £10’s of thousands to defend. How these authorities conduct themselves is not fair and reasonable. Despite all the austerity they all seem to be able to find large sums of money and employ bullying tactics to make up for their own historical failings.

  5. L Barnes says:

    The law needs to be changed. We have a “footpath” through our garden over our lawn. Doesn’t exist in any other way than as a dotted line on a map. Gives access to a field behind the house which is easily accessible from the road anyway.

    Regardless some groups of walkers prefer to seemingly go out of their way to use our garden instead. We’ve also had complaints about the standard of gate latches etc as well as a telling off from one walker for allowing our Labrador to be “not in control on a footpath” ie playing in our garden.

    It’s our garden and home for crying out loud. Some common sense please.

  6. P. Brown says:

    In my experience, as a walker and as a farmer, many walkers are embarrassed to go through gardens or farmyards and would leap at the opportunity to be diverted away from these private areas. One can only hope that the Deregulation Bill if passed will make it much easier to apply for reasonable diversions, without a single objection leading to a hearing (expensive) by the House of Lords – which my Council has warned me about. I couldn’t decide whether they were being sympathetic or threatening.

  7. Richard Maher says:

    I have a footpath on land next to my garden and across a paddock near my house and detailed as such since the Definitive Maps were created in 1956. Walkers were walking through my garden and when I erected a gate after consulting with Nottinghamshire County Council Definitive maps team and obtaining definitive maps showing the path lines as not being down my drive, as had always been the case, all hell broke loose. Now Nottinghamshire County Council are saying that their maps are wrong, the path does come down my drive and more than that, the path on the paddock they say runs through the house and they want to knock the corner of the house down. Nottinghamshire County Council gave the planning permission for the house 50 years ago. They defined their maps 58 years ago. Having checked this information with them 20 years ago when I bought the house, how is this fair and reasonable?

  8. Avril says:

    Without a question of a doubt the law needs to be changed and furthermore the whole area of Highways must be definitively clarified. Currently it is a legal minefield which is simply wasting public money. As current research has shown, walking is a wonderful way of keeping fit, healthy and active and as such, effort in to this area would be of great service to the British public. There are many Walkers/Ramblers associations who the Government can talk with, people who are actually knowledgeable on the subject and happy to discuss other options. I am sure the vast majority of their members do NOT want to walk through homes! There needs to be more options available to current landowners (eg. some people with wonderful gardens would be happy to have the route open to the public on certain days/times of the year, but would also like to maintain their right to privacy at other times.) That old-fashioned and swiftly disappearing thought process called Common Sense needs to be applied. Isn’t it called “getting along”? It seems that with a bit of thought, empathy and understanding, everyone could have their cake and eat it!

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