Public inquiry in Slaley
Published at 07:43, Wednesday, 13 February 2013
A PUBLIC inquiry is due to go ahead over a contentious Healey drift road.
The decision is expected to end the long running feud over trail rider rights on the ancient route which runs through Espershields Farm.
Originally set to be taken privately, inspectors have now decided to hold a hearing in April in Slaley after agreeing to hear new evidence from representatives of the Trail Riders Fellowship.
A history of conflict over the route was first sparked when it was uncovered in 2001 by a group of trail riders studying an 18th century map. They have since claimed access to the mile-long stretch under Byways Open to All Traffic (BOAT) legislation, despite it running through farm land used by cattle and being crossed by several dry-stone walls.
In January 2011, the county council’s rights of way committee moved to downgrade it to a restricted byway, meaning it could not be used by trail riders.
However the trail riders have challenged the county council’s application, which will now be considered by the Planning Inspectorate.
The inquiry will be held at Slaley Commemoration Hall at 10am on April 16.
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk