Council U-turn as Chorltonville historic footpath not set to re-open

CHORLTON RESIDENTS are celebrating after Manchester Council yesterday changed its mind about spending £50,000 to reopen the 65-year-old Footpath 181. The footpath used to run from Claude Road, behind Chorltonville alongside Chorlton Brook and came out on Barlow Moor Road, but has been closed for decades. Residents opposed the reopening because they felt it was a waste of public money and were concerned about the potential increase in crime.

Yesterday Council Bosses confirmed that following local opposition they have decided to stop up the full length of Footpath 181 as provided by Section 116 of the Highways Act 1980. The Council will be advertising the stopping up order and making an application to the courts.

Chorlton Lib Dem Councillor Victor Chamberlain, who joined residents in opposing the plans, said: “This is great news for local people. The Council says it has no money yet was willing to spend £50,000 and potentially even more to reopen a historic path local residents didn’t want. It’s taken the Council months to see sense but I am pleased they have finally made the right decision”  

Chorlton Park Lib Dem Councillor Bernie Ryan said: “I was concerned that a reopened path would result in more criminal activity and prove a nuisance for local residents. This is welcome news for residents in my ward.”

Chorlton Resident and former Police Inspector Matt Gallagher said: “It is thanks to the concerted opposition campaign from local residents, Councillors and Chorlton Police that the Council have changed their mind. The Council U-Turn shows how powerful the community can be when we work together.”

5 responses to “Council U-turn as Chorltonville historic footpath not set to re-open

  1. Headline: Council U-turn as Chorltonville historic footpath set to re-open
    Story: Footpath set to stay closed.

    Sort it out John-Boy. Oh and while you’re at it, stop propping up the Tories.

  2. As mdejager points out, the headline says the exact opposite of the text.

    But while I’ve got you, listen: The NHS is a good thing, it’d be nice if you didn’t dismantle it.

  3. A few points, conveniently ignored:

    The footpath has never been ‘closed’ just allowed to become / remain obstructed.

    Local Police are as keen to challenge crime on FP181 as they are everywhere else in M21.

    The ‘Residents’ who support closure have gardens that adjoin / include the Public Right of Way.

    Look at a map to see why this footpath exists / would be an asset to the community.

    Aren’t we supposed to be walking between our local schools / parks these days?

    If the Court *does* allow the Council to ‘stop up’ this obstructed Right of Way, it’s gone forever.

    The ‘cost’ of clearing FP181 has been arrived at how exactly? and has anyone considered engaging local people to volunteer and clear it (and ‘grow a pair’ and serve notice on those who have obstructed it)

  4. It is amazing what impact a missing word can have! As far as crime levels are concerned, it is impossible to tell what impact the reopening of the footpath would have, but the police had major reservations, and where alleyways have been closed off in other parts of Chorlton, there has been a reduction in crime.
    However my biggest concern is that the Council was prepared to spend up to £50k on a footpath that hasn’t been used for more than 65 years, the exact location of which is still not certain, and for which there is very little public support. Frankly I believe it to be a waste of money.
    As far as the suggestion that the opponents of footpath 181 being the people who have occupied the land, in some cases I’m sure this is the case, but the vast majority of people opposing the footpath are not.
    The footpath would not be safe for children to walk along it without spening thousands of pounds and this, along with legal action against people occupaying part of the path, this is why this is prohibitively expensive.
    I think some legitimate questions can be asked as to why it was allowed to become overgrown and impassable, but my guess is that it would not have been allowed to become so, IF people had continued to use it.

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