Meadows path fight reaches next stage

Trevor Burton, of Belper.
Trevor Burton, of Belper.

A footpath campaigner in Belper says he has got to the next stage in his fight to have a footpath in the area protected in law.

Trevor Burton, 68, of Joseph Road, was worried that plans to expand Belper Meadows Sport Club would mean that residents would be stopped from using the footpaths surrounding the ground.

In June, plans were approved for the club to build a 574-square metre pavilion at Christchurch Meadows, just off Bridge Street.

He said: “These footpaths are part of Belper’s history and are much-loved countryside and riverside walks.

“They are also part of the much wider Derwent Valley World Heritage Site and every effort should be made to secure them to be used for generations to come.”

The land in question is privately owned, but the law allows for claims to be legally opposed when the footpaths in question have been used unchallenged for 20 years or more and evidence can be provided to support this.

As a result of the ‘tremendous and overwhelming’ support he received, Trevor was able to provide such evidence to Derbyshire County Council and now it has said it will consider designating the footpaths as a public right of way and including them on its definitive map.

However, Trevor says it is important to note that this is only acceptance of the application and a final decision is still some way off as the county council will need to undertake research, including consultations, to investigate the claim more fully.