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GinnelGate - closure of a much used town footpath

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Many Hebden Bridge residents have used the shortcut which runs between  Birchcliffe Road and the Stubbing Footpath via St. Johns Close.  They can no longer do so.

This route has a long history and local maps and property deeds show it in use back in the 19th century.  In recent times people have used it to take their children to and from Stubbing  School as it cuts off a nasty corner and avoids the busy road.  Those on Bankside and the Birchcliffe hillside have used it to visit friends and family on Birchcliffe Road and streets off it.  Those on St. Johns Close have used it to get to the town centre.

With no consultation with neighbours or the wider community a local resident has removed the wrought iron gate between St. Johns Close and Stubbing Footpath and has had a stone wall built across where that gate stood since at least the 1850s.  Other local residents are outraged at this interference with what would appear to be rights of access which have operated without interruption for at least a century and a half.
In addition the route has importance in the local history of that area of Hebden Bridge as it served the Church Mission and the Sunday School for many years before the buildings were converted into dwellings.

The way to get the gate replaced and the route reinstated is through the presentation of Evidence of Use forms to Calderdale Council.  People on Birchcliffe, Bankside and St.Johns Close have come together to fight this issue and hope that if you have ever used that route you will join them in trying to preserve it as a right of way by completing an Evidence of Use form which can be downloaded here.

Public Rights of Way Evidence Form

Map to indicate Right of Way

Forms should be sent to
Ian Turner
Rights of Way,
Calderdale Council,
Northgate House,
Halifax HX1 1UN.


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