The Problem

Homeowners have less rights over their home than the public

How can the public or walkers justify this intrusion on their fellow citizens even though the law currently permits this. Just look at the survey of experiences to see what is happening in our democratic country.

Footpaths through gardens compromise families’ security, safety and privacy

Children and pets cannot be left alone in the garden and there are obvious security, safety and privacy issues.  Lives and homes are being destroyed.  Most of us enjoy a walk in the country but are embarrassed if find ourselves in a family home, such RoW are not in the public interest. 

Our voice is not heard.  The number of people affected by an intrusive footpath is small

A tiny fraction of a percentage (I guess about 0.1%) of the 140,000 miles of public rights of way go through the gardens of private family homes causing immense stress and hardship to the owners and effectively causing the loss of the normal use of the garden.

Footpath claims have led to bankruptcy, mental breakdowns and even suicide

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.

A home owner burdened with a footpath must pay his or her own expenses to dispute a claim

Believing Britain is a fair country and there must be a solution, homeowners have sometimes spent thousands of pounds they cannot afford on legal fees, only to find a Kafkaesque web of legislation that denies them any justice or humanity.