SEPTEMBER 5 2020 – THE HYDE [PUBLIC FOOTPATH ON PRIVATE LAND]

Cross road carefully, go past the Golf Club entrance along the road – carefully – making towards the Public Footpath sign at the sharp corner:

Go through ‘The Hyde’ white gate. It is a Public Footpath, but be respectfully aware it is also a Private Drive. Follow the path around the garden lake until a small wooden door is reached in the corner. Open [then close] the door and come out on to the Clubhouse buildings:

 

 

IFIELD AND IFIELD WEST COMMUNITY

 

Just a genuine question, is this allowed? I didn’t think public footpaths could be closed and this doesn’t look like an official council letter or sign??
Image may contain: text that says 'COVID- 19 PUBLIC FOOTPATH NO. 1549/2 THIS SECTION OF FOOTPATH IS TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED PLEASE WALK ALONG RUSPER ROAD AND REJOIN THE FOOTPATH VIA THE GOLF CLUB CAR PARK.'
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  • badge icon
    No clue but I saw someone has sprayed the trees in the woods up the top of ifield west to say go home I imagine it’s the houses up that road ‍♀️

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    • 12w
    • This is The Hyde at the junction of Rusper Road & Whitehall Drive.
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      • 12w
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      Ian Mulcahy

      I don’t know the proper names of the woods it was just the top fields when I was a kid. If you go up the track from the railway crossing going towards top of ifield west on the track the trees are sprayed

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      • 12w
    • Image may contain: text that says 'Sky 9:17 am 55% 3D Fair 13° 13° AQI1 Search for a place or address'
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      • 12w
    • Michelle Harold

      Thats Kilnwood Lane (y)

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      • 12w
    • badge icon
      Ian Mulcahy

      I guess lots of walkers are going through there now up past the farm houses

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      • 12w
  • Also if it’s a public footpath that goes through someone’s garden or land they maintain they probably are allowed to decided if to open or close it al the moment
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    • 12w
    • Now, they can’t just arbitrarily close a public right of way. That’s not how it works.
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      • 12w
    • Ian Mulcahy

      True

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      • 12w
  • badge icon
    It is also the garden of a private house isn’t it ….I guess the surge of walkers has meant a lot of people walking through their own garden ..you can easily enter further along the Rusper road .. I wouldn’t really want numerous people walking through my garden either especially as it is simpler to enter further up the road

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    • 12w
    • Edited
    • There is no footway alongside that road, just a ditch…
      Unfortunately for her its a public right of way so what she wants is irrelevant. If she doesn’t want a public footpath, which has existed for a lot longer than her, then she should move.

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      • 12w
    • Elaine Code

      but that’s tough luck buying a house with a foot path.

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      • 12w
      • Edited
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      Emma Louise Bloomfield

      ..it is nice to be kind to others . The walk through the golf course does not take you out of your way indeed it is easier ..no reason to go through their garden .. When they purchased their house they probably did not know that their would be a pandemic that would result in many people suddenly walking through their garden.

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      • 12w
      • Edited
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      Ian Mulcahy

      There is a pavement !!!!!!!

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      • 12w
    • Elaine Code

      Not on that side of the road there isn’t! There is a kerb, and a ditch.

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      • 12w
      • Edited
    • Elaine Code

      no there isn’t. As said above, it’s a bend and cars fly round it nearly hitting us

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      • 12w
    • Elaine Code

      but if foot pathes are not used, we lose them. which is this ladies plan long term, (I’m lead to believe)

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      • 12w
  • Image may contain: text that says '07:29 www.gov.uk Private risk others paths people instructions possible coronavirus passed using public rights considered government's distancing avoid using footpaths farmstead distancing business difficult. network remains and landowners obstruct public rights limited people consider way. very routes, landowners may following measures: Temporarily displaying that workers guidelines routes distancing consider alternative through gardens, Offering gardens schools. alternative only must gain permission from relevant safe livestock) provided that the original maintained. can also tied ofway open, ifitis walkers gates. so National opened omaintai including England Coast however government's instructions'

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    • 12w
  • Presenting it as if it’s compulsory rather than a request might be the only issue. Personally, I would be happy to comply if there were a genuine risk to someone living nearby or if a path were very narrow without passing points. However, if it comes across as someone using covid-19 as an unreasonable excuse to close a footpath I might feel differently.

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    • 12w
    • “if it comes across as someone using covid-19 as an unreasonable excuse to close a footpath”
      It’s this. She’s… difficult to say the least. Screamed at my son and his friends for playing in the bushes outside the front of my house adjoining, but not on, her land that she would call the police and have them taken to prison. One of them was so terrified he’s not been back since! Unfortunately I wasn’t home at the time.
      She also tried to stop us using the footpath a few weeks ago.
      “What do you think you’re doing”
      “Using the public footpath”

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      • 12w
    • Ian Mulcahy

      I don’t know exactly where it is, but the temptation is to use the footpath even more as I can’t stand people like that. Many footpaths are ancient and it was probably there a long time before she was, so she must have known of it when she moved in.

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      • 12w
    • Paul Coleman

      I feel the same way. I wasn’t going for a walk today, but I may well do now. The lady who has lived there for donkeys years is lovely, waves when you walk past. Her (presumably) daughter, on the other hand…

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      • 12w
    • Ian Mulcahy

      I have been going for early morning walks in the area in recent weeks, but I think it’s farther along Rusper Road. I sometimes park up in a Close near the park, walk through some lovely wooded area and by fields, and seem to end up in the churchyard by the theatre. I heard a woodpecker rattling a tree trunk the other day.

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      • 12w
    • Author
      Ian Mulcahy

      was this the house by the public footpath by the Hyde?

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      • 12w
      • Edited
    • Billy Lewis

      Yes.

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      • 12w
    • Author
      Ian Mulcahy

      disgusting.

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      • 12w
  • Check with WSCC rights way office.

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    • 12w
  • Just go round, easy enough

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    • 12w
    • Except it’s not, because you have to walk on the road on a 90 degree bend.

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      • 12w
    • And

      Vaughan

      , that’s not really the point and there is a principal at stake. Closing footpaths is illegal. Use them or lose them!

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      • 12w
    • Vaughan Crequer

      no, it’s not safe as it’s a tight bend and no path, my son and I were nearly hit by someone driving round there too fast

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      • 12w
    • Ian Mulcahy

      Ah yes, I think I know where you mean now.

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      • 12w
    • Vaughan Crequer

      im asking a question whether this is allowed or whether the council have done this.

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      • 12w
    • Billy YouthWorker

      No and no. That’s not an official suspension notice. There’s one at the end of Tweed Lane (about 18 months old now  ) if you want to see an official notice. I’ll see if I have a pic of it somewhere.

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      • 12w
    • Billy YouthWorker
      Billy Lewis
      This is what an official closure sign looks like. Any other kind of closure sign on a footpath can be ignored.
      Image may contain: outdoor
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      • 12w
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      Ian Mulcahy

      Thankyou! Now that’s a real sign! Lol

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      • 12w
  • The sign is not legal and access remains, however It should be reworded for public consideration. Saying that, WSCC are not considering applications right now so it’s a bit of a problem. To be fair, im not sure I’d want public in my garden right now. The occupant may also be high risk. The route change suggested is minor and to be honest, only someone completely anal would choose to ignore it at the moment.

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    • 12w
    • Edited
    • Well said

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      • 12w
    • Steve Flynn

      She has history and will be just taking advantage of the situation.

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      • 12w
    • Ian Mulcahy

      i wouldn’t know about that, they’ll always be the ‘its my right’ element. Once this episode is over I’m confident that WSCC will fully endorse peoples complaints in the meantime though, it’s not really such a big deal.

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      • 12w
    • Steve Flynn

      As a man of principal, I believe it is a small part of a bigger deal, as I said to Vaughan above. Yes, it IS my right and using something that isn’t an issue to try to remove that right simply because she doesn’t like having a footpath that is hundreds of years old going through her garden isn’t, to me, acceptable.

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      • 12w
    • Ian Mulcahy

      WSCC Covid guidance asks all public using footpaths to wash gates and hands at all entities and exits. I very much doubt this is happening by any walker. Log your concern with WSCC, you’ll have a long wait on the reply though.

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      • 12w
    • Steve Flynn

      Yes, they certainly take their time. The front gate is usually open, so the only risk has been created by her closing it!

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      • 12w
    • As an ex WSCC rights of way Ranger, I can confirm it’s not a legal closure. It would need a formal temporary closure notice put up by WSCC. On a practical note, if it’s the one I’m thinking of, it’s just easier to access through the golf course car park, but legally you continue to have a right of access through it. As with all PRoW, users have a responsibility to be considerate in their use.

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      • 12w
    • Author
      Mark Haymes

      Thanks Mark!

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      • 12w
  • If this is the house next to the golf club the owner is very high risk.
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    • 12w
    • True only if you were to go into the house and sit next to the (pleasant) older lady. Not if you pass the house 10 metres away on the right of way.
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      • 12w
    • Ian Mulcahy

      I suppose she’d like to spend her final days sitting by her pond without worrying about who’s walking near her.

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      • 12w
    • Ian Mulcahy

      Indeed, Ian. My work takes me a lot closer to people’s houses than that, though I do take extra precautions (e.g. I cancelled all interior window cleaning).

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      • 12w
    • Donna Wakeham

      And she can. The older lady is lovely. No problem with her.

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      • 12w
  • I’m sure I saw a similar sign at Langley Green farm for a bridleway close to that that said it was closed due to Covid
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    • 12w
  • Author
    Thanks for your responses guys, it’s more of a case of wondering whether this could be done or not. I don’t agree with public footpaths being blocked, alternatives are a little dangerous for younger children. I’m happy to walk round and an more than happy to not use it if someone is worried about coronavirus but just wanted to know whether this was enforced or not by the council, many thanks

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    • 12w
  • badge icon
    Is this gate where I’ve marked with yellow on the map? If so it forces people to walk around a dangerous bend
    No photo description available.
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    • 12w
    • Edited

     

    Ian Mulcahy replied
     
    8 Replies
  • Thinking some more on this, I believe there would be far greater compliance if it read something like: “This public footpath runs through our garden. We are very concerned about infection as some residents are vulnerable. Please consider an alternative route until the Covid-19 emergency has passed. Thank you for your consideration.”
    Far better than catching flies with hydrochloric acid.

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    • 12w
    • Normally I’d agree with you, but knowing what I know about her resistance to a right of way that has existed well before she was here, and will exist long after she’s gone, I believe that she is just looking to take advantage of a situation.
      In six months time she’ll apply to have it permanently closed on the basis that no one uses it. Seen it before.

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      • 12w
    • Ian Mulcahy

      That must be avoided. This prompted me to look up some of the appropriate legislation and it gets complicated once you go into detail. It is possible for a public footpath to be diverted, but it doesn’t like like this would be such an instance. I’m old enough to vaguely remember when Stafford Road was built across Langley Walk-Langley Lane, but they left a proper gap between the houses in order to preserve the footpath’s route, even if not its composition.

      It’s a pity it’s come to this because if the person was more reasonable, I imagine most would avoid using that stretch of path during the epidemic. I imagine it might be triggered by irritation about all those new builds in the area. She should try living around my way – I sometimes have to park two streets over.

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      • 12w
    • Paul Coleman

      She threatens 9 year old boy’s with prison for playing in the bushes, as 9 year old boys do. She’s just a nasty woman.

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      • 12w
    • Ian Mulcahy

      She sounds a bit deranged to me.

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      • 12w
      • Edited
  • badge icon
    So what happened to the two / three trees in the public footpath that seemed to come down overnight on the way to the farmers fields ? it is quite tricky ducking under all those tree trunks now !
    Image may contain: plant, tree, outdoor, nature and water

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    • 12w
  • The public right of way has been ‘re-opened’. The signs at both ends have been removed and left neatly on the driveway.
    Anyone using the path who is subject to any suggestion from the property owner that you shouldn’t be using it should politely remind him/her that they have no right to arbitrarily close a public right of way and if they wish to do so they should go through the proper channels and apply to West Sussex County Council for a Public Path Diversion Order under s119 of the Highways Act 1980.
    You should also remind him/her that to obstruct a public right of way is a criminal offence under s137 of the same act.
    Or if you can’t remember all that, just put a single finger to your lips and say shhhhh.
    Please do not be be abusive or rude, but don’t allow yourself to bullied or intimidated either.
    Yes, I did my research, no I don’t care if you think that’s ‘sad’.

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    • 12w
  • Justine Fortnam
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    • 12w
  • Sometimes it’s better to lose and do the right thing than win and do the wrong thing.
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    • 12w
    • Author
      Donna Wakeham

      I’ll let WSCC deal with it 

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Hat-Tip: Ian M.