IF are aware of circa 25 examples of PROWs though gardens and farmyards which have led to bankruptcy, breakdowns and even suicide. These will become more frequent as the population grows. This cannot be in the “public interest”, homeowners with a PROW have no rights and are excluded from the protection of article 8 of the Human Rights Act.
In one case a PROW divides a house in two, in another there is a rare example where councillors actually recognising an injustice, wanted to help remove a path via diversion or extinguishment and instructed officers to do so, but in the face of the legislation had to withdraw support. The homeowner is currently facing prosecution for having gates on his property that have been there for 150 years and legal costs. A resident next to a fast and deep river is not allowed a gate to protect young children from the river. An elderly couple on a Taylor Wimpey housing estate have had a path created across their front garden which is now used all day every day and their parked cars are frequently damaged. The owners of an end terrace house in the north have seen their cat killed by walkers’ uncontrolled dogs in front of their three year old child. A second cat was attacked and savaged on a different occasion. An application to extinguish a path used 4 times the previous year resulted in round robin emails and 13 objections so did not progress. None of this is out of the ordinary for homeowners with a footpath through their garden.