EFFRA Objects to the proposed diversion of Footpath 114

Effingham Residents Association (EFFRA) objects to the proposed diversion of Footpath 114 on Effingham Common as it appears to be an attempt to enclose common land. See post proposed-diversion-of-effingham-common-footpath

This longstanding footpath and right of way does not transverse a garden as claimed in the application, as we understand the land is common land which is registered under Section 4 of The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. The declared intention is to enclose the land around which the footpath is diverted. Enclosure of common land is illegal under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. We trust that Surrey County Council will refuse this application.

Residents wishing to comment may do so by emailing anne.woods@surreycc.gov.uk or writing to her at:

  • Countryside Access Office
  • Whitebeam Lodge
  • Merrow Depot
  • Merrow Lane
  • Guildford
  • GU4 7BQ

using the reference Effingham/114/aw

Comments must be sent by 15th April. Numbers of comments are important as Ms Woods has said the process “will depend on the number and content of objections we (Surrey County Council) receive to the proposed diversion, but at the end of the consultation period a decision will be made as to whether we simply refuse to make an Order, or take the matter to the local Committee for a decision on whether or not to make a Diversion Order.”

3 thoughts on “EFFRA Objects to the proposed diversion of Footpath 114”

  1. I have been made aware that the owners of Tyrrells cottage have made a move to divert the route of the footpath that runs along the outside of their property.

    I use the word outside because the footpath currently runs through common land.

    In the early/mid eighties quite a few parcels of common land came on to the market and all sold to the local residents. These were transferred on the strict proviso that they remained common land and that there was to be no urbanisation or development. This included the erection of fences and domestic planting.

    This move by the current owner is an obvious land grab, I can’t say I blame them for trying it on however this must not under any circumstances be allowed to succeed.

    In April I will have lived on the Common for 60 years and therefore feel very protective of this very special place. However my point is not based on protectionism rather a specific point regarding an attempt to abuse the law.

  2. Effingham Common is rare in having commoners rights.Our historic Common land and it’s footpaths are supposedly protected by law.By diverting the footpath and converting Common land into a private garden,the planners are ignoring the law and the value of our historic land..What stops other owners from enclosing and cultivating their Common land and diverting the adjoining footpaths?The owners of Tyrrells Cottage have an obvious agenda .The footpath must remain as it is ,and the area conserved as Common .

  3. The application and map submitted by Berkeley Homes Ltd erroneously describes the application the footpath as running through Tyrell cottage’s garden. This land is NOT a garden, it is common land.

    – There is no change in circumstances since a similar application (rejected) in 2004 also by Tyrells Cottage.

    – There are no factors in changing from the current situation other than for the commercial benefit of the company (Berkeley Homes) which owns the house on the common land and would be for the detriment of all others. It is disingenuous of Berkeley Homes to suggest that it is for the benefit of tenants, who are on short term contracts, rather than for the commercial house builder’s benefit, by securing a garden and enabling them to make redevelopment much more likely and financially beneficial.

    – By referring in the application to this as garden, and stating that the ‘proposed route [will run along] along the boundary of the garden’ it is relevant to believe that the Berkeley Corporation wishes to create a garden by moving the footpath to the boundary and illegally enclosing the common land.

    – By moving the route just a few metres to the boundary and calling this a garden Berkeley Homes and/or the tenants would be erecting boundaries to enclose the land and marshal the foot traffic. How else would they redirect foot traffic? Precedent of previous owners must be considered, since over a period of years they had systematically planted along the south border (the track side) to surreptitiously hedge it off for unlawful enclosure.

    – Rerouting the path to run parallel to Wise Folly garden boundary hedge, would create a narrow strip on which to cross the common land, funnelling foot traffic into a much smaller area. This area already becomes quite muddy and therefore would become impassable during the winter weather. It is not an issue currently since people aren’t restricted in the path they take to cross the common.

    – The result of restricting the path in this way during winter would effectively be the closure of 114 as an active footpath, because it would reroute people either onto Effingham Common road or finding new routes through woodland on the North side of Wise Folly.

    – This is a wildlife corridor, used by animals to travel safely to the bigger area of common land. We regularly see deer, fox and rabbits traversing this common land, and restricting them to a narrow path would force them to take alternative routes nearer to the roads.

    – It would also be severely detrimental to wildlife if this land became considered and used as a garden, most likely residents would wish to alter the ecosystem by removing trees, planting non natives, implementing hard landscape, using pesticides and lighting. It should be noted that a rare and species in decline species, glow worms, was spotted on this common land (sighting report to UK Glow worm survey 22nd June 2018 link)

    – If approved this sets a dangerous precedent for other areas of the common. It is certain that the house building company will be applying to enclose other areas of the common land which it owns, again for further commercial gain. They have already proved they are quite prepared to build on rural green belt land despite strong local objection (295 houses on Howard Effingham development).

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