Footbridge between the “Woolpack field” and the Garden Centre: Dobcross update

Cllr Garth HarknessAt the Oldham Council meeting on Thursday 12th July 2018 Councillor Garth Harkness raised the issue of the footpath at the Garden Centre in Dobcross.

Councillor Garth Harkness said: “The Footbridge between the ‘Woolpack field’ and the Garden Centre in Dobcross has been closed for quite some time but residents would very much like to see it re-opened. I am aware that it responsibility of Newbank Garden Centre. The Garden Centre bought the land from the Council in 2001 at an auction sale.

“My understanding is that it was closed because the bridge decking is in a poor condition and had flood damage so the Garden Centre closed the path which is on their land. I know that the path is not a definitive right of way. However, there has been a path at this location for over 21 years. I understand that there can be objection to the closure under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981, Section 53 and would appreciate the cabinet member’s assistance in using this or other means to  help get this footpath back in use.”

The council responded by saying they are now considering a definitive map modification order. It is being considered that it be added to the definitive rights of way map – the report will be then sent to the TRO panel to decide. The unsafe bridge repair rests with the garden centre and this is their responsibility and has slowed the process down.

Councillor Harkness added: “At least they are actually looking at the problem properly now at long last though it is unclear how long a conclusion will take. We will have to keep pushing!”

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