Lyme Regis: Councillors vow to fight for Teneriffe Path as public right of way (From Bridport and Lyme Regis News)
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Lyme Regis: Councillors vow to fight for Teneriffe Path as public right of way
TOWN councillors have agreed to ‘fight to the end’ to get the Teneriffe footpath recognised as a right of way in Lyme Regis.
Councillors agreed to instruct a specialist barrister to consider the case and if he or she agrees the evidence gathered is good enough the case should go to a public enquiry.
Coun Anita Williams said evidence suggests people have been using the path from at least the 1920s and maybe earlier.
She said before the sea defences the path was invaluable as a link between the main town and Marine Parade as Cobb Gate corner was difficult to negotiate in stormy weather.
At a full council meeting recently, councillors voted to engage a barrister – but with a spending limit, which was undisclosed during open session.
Coun Mark Gage said: “This sends a message that this town council will stick up for the land rights and the access rights of the common people of this town.”
Coun Daryl Turner said he agreed but they must remember the council has a limited budget.
He said: “I agree with everything being said but we have a limited bucket. There are many other paths and areas in this town which could lead the town council to incur costs such as these.
“We know what the budget is like, we are very, very tight.
“I would add that costs should not exceed those in the confidential documents.”
Coun Williams added: “I would hope that this council would fight to the end for the rights of the people who have been using Tenerriffe footpath for probably 100 years.
“I would not want to give any signals that we will be constrained by costs.”
Dorset County Council refused the path’s designation in July 2009 but its decision was overturned by an inspector on appeal in June of this year. The order for a right of way was made but residents have objected through a solicitor so the issue went back to the county council.
The county council then referred it to the Secretary of State to decide what to do, with a public inquiry likely.
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