A report to a Council meeting* taking place next week (20/7/21) promises that the long delayed decision, which will lead to the confirmation that a public right of way (PROW) exists across Acomb Moor, will be progressed over the next 7 days.
The proposal that a PROW exists was lodged, by the local residents association, with the Council in 2018. It was supported by “evidence of use” forms supplied by many local people. The route links Foxwood Lane to Osprey Close and forms part of a popular walking and exercise route for residents. It also offers a short cut from Acomb Wood to Acomb via Askham Lane.
The meeting will consider the progress being made on several PROW applications including those in Dunnington, Heslington, Naburn, Heworth, Westfield (Acomb Moor), and three orders in Skelton. The report says “publicity for the making of these orders will be happening at the time of the decision session or shortly after”.
The Council last considered the issue in November 2019 at which point they determined to make an order.
Nothing has happened since, with the Council blaming inadequate staff resources for the delay. In the interim – for the first time in over 30 years – the field on Foxwood Lane was put to crop.
An attempt was also made to block the access to the moor. This followed years of neglect of the stile structure. A tree truck was used to obstruct an access which had been in use for over 40 years.
With the pandemic making outside exercise an even more important aspect of daily life, informal access arrangements sprang up at several points along the field boundary. The path around the field (but not across it) continued to be well used.
However, access for the less ambient and disabled became impossible.
The Council failed to take any enforcement action against the owners.
The Council will now make the order and there will be a period of 6 weeks during which objections can be lodged. If any are unresolved, the matter would be referred to the Secretary of State for a final decision.
All in all, the Councils effectiveness in dealing with this issue has been less than impressive. Lets hope that some progress can be made quickly now and that access arrangements to the moor can be regularised.
*The meeting is open to the public. Representations can be made by Email to the responsible executive Councillor (firstname.lastname@example.org) or in person (to register, contact Robert Flintoft Telephone – (01904) 555704 Email – email@example.com).