Opposition to path diversion

PLANS to divert a footpath in a north Northumberland village have been opposed by a national pressure group.

An order has been made by Northumberland County Council to divert part of public footpath number 31 in Beadnell under the Highways Act 1980.

It seeks to move a 33-metre section of the path approximately three metres to the south of its current position.

The path runs across the Haven to the beach from Harbour Road.

But it has been met with opposition from the Open Spaces Society.

General secretary Kate Ashbrook said: “The proposed change, although fairly minor on the map, is of great significance. The existing route is a wide-open track, well-surfaced and inviting.

“The proposed new route is narrow and fenced-in with a difficult, sandy surface.

“The path is used by a wide range of people carrying all sorts of items for a day on the beach.

“People have wheelchairs, buggies and prams, and carry canoes, boats, diving gear and picnics.

“They need the firm, wide path which exists at present.

“The proposed new route is completely unsuitable for such use.

“Furthermore, there are fascinating bark pots close to the new route.

“These are Grade 2-listed survivals of the old fishing industry and are vulnerable to erosion from the new route. They must not be put at risk.”

“So there are strong arguments for keeping the path on its existing route and not mucking about with it. We have urged the council to abandon this plan.”

A public consultation runs until Thursday, March 15.