TENERIFFE Path in Lyme Regis is one step closer to being established as a public right of way.
The county council’s rights of way committee met on January 16 and recommended the matter was submitted to the Secretary of State for determination and to actively support an order reinstating the path on maps.
Lyme Regis town councillors have been battling for 14 years to put the footpath, which runs from Broad Street to Marine Parade, on the definitive map after it was closed to the public in the 1980s by residents of Teneriffe Flats. Town councillor Lorna Jenkin has campaigned for the path to be recognised as a public right of way. She said: “This has been a long road, which I started in the year 2000 after many requests from the townspeople to take up the issue.
“There has been huge support from the town and we have got more than 50 names of people who used that path.
“I am pleased that the roads and rights of way committee has actively supported Lyme Regis Town Council in re-establishing Teneriffe Path as a public right of way and I hope the Secretary of State will look favourably on this issue once again. We hope to have a decision from the Secretary of State within a year.”
At the meeting, members of the rights of way committee went against the advice of the director for environment Miles Butler, who said councillors should take a neutral stance as continued investment of public resources was not in the public interest.
Coun Lorna Jenkin and Nigel Clarke, a local historian and former town councillor, attended the meeting and urged members to support the town council’s efforts.
Coun Jenkin told the committee the mapping and surveying of the footpaths in Lyme Regis for registration on the definitive map was never completed in the 1940s. The surveyor who was given the task died in 1947 before a survey could be carried out in Lyme Regis.
Coun Jenkin said: “This is the reason why there are no footpaths shown within the old borough boundaries of Lyme Regis, even though the town has a myriad of little paths between lanes and houses which are still used daily by local people. This decision will hopefully pave the way for getting the dozens of other paths in Lyme placed on the definitive map.”