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Planning inspector rules on footpath row
A FOOTPATH which has been a no-go zone for nearly three years will soon be re-opened after it was officially declared a public right of way.
The pathway between Floriston Avenue and Ryefield Avenue, Hillingdon, became centre of a row between residents in 2009 when neighbours, whose properties backed onto it, installed gates to stop people from walking through.
But others in the area claimed they had been using the path as a cut-through for years and elderly residents said it shortened their journey to nearby shops by 15 minutes.
They demanded that it be recognised as a public right of way and the gates removed.
Hillingdon Council's planning committee supported their call and tried to make an order which would have seen the footpath marked as a publicly accessible route on official maps.
But the gate owners contested their findings, claiming the pathway was part of their property.
The decision was passed on to the Planning Inspectorate, which organised a public inqury.
After two postponements last year, both groups eventually got their say at Hillngdon Civic Centre at the end of January.
Connie Evans, chairman of Oak Farm Residents Association, which raised objections to the gates, said: "We are pleased. This has been going on since July 2009.
"The gates have got to come down. It's up to the council [to make sure they are removed] now."
Jean Palmer, deputy chief executive and corporate director of planning at Hillingdon Council, said: ""Following a public inquiry the Planning Inspectorate announced their decision on 27 March confirming that the footpath was to be a public right of way.
"Council officers will be making an inspection of the site in the next week to ensure the gates have been opened and the path is in good condition for residents to use. In the longer term, the gates will be removed."
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