A RESIDENT who was angry after a town footpath was chained off has launched a campaign to have it made an official right of way.
The row began last March after Holmfirth Cricket Club installed a chain across the road between Bridge Lane and Sands Playing Fields.
The club said they had installed the barrier in a bid to prevent vandalism of the cricket pitch as they had spent thousands re-paving the road, which links the river path behind the Co-op to the path down to Sands.
At the time club spokesman Bruce Jakeman said people had been driving on to the pitch on motorbikes – and even cars – and had been making holes.
But the move angered local man Nick Charlton who said the residents of Holmfirth had an ancient access right.
He said there had been an established right of way for more than 25 years and claimed his wife had been using the route since she was a child.
Mr Charlton, who lives on neighbouring street Summervale, had already threatened to take legal action if the club did not remove the locked chain.
Despite the club unlocking the chain, he has now begun the process of applying for the route to be adopted as an official public footpath.
Mr Charlton said he had made the move in the hope he could secure the access for the people of Holmfirth for “eternity”.
He said: “I’m doing this because next time they have a change of management at the cricket club we’ll just end up going through this whole argument again.
“I just think it needs casting in stone so that it’s a proper footpath from now until eternity.”
Mr Charlton has approached Kirklees Council and said the council had agreed his legal case.
He is now distributing forms to people who can support his case.
The forms ask people if they have used the route, how often and for how many years?
He intends to submit all his evidence with as many forms as possible by mid July.
Mr Charlton said he had already had dozens of people asking for forms after his campaign was promoted in Holmfirth.
He added: “I did write to the club to claim a right of way under law, but I didn’t really get a response.
“The chain has been unlocked after the original article in The Examiner.
“However, they have put a gate post in and it’s my understanding it’s their intention to put a proper gate across the lane.”
To get a form email Mr Charlton with your postal address stating how many forms you require. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org