Popular footpath in Northampton reopens to the public two months after it was closed off by disgruntled landowner
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A popular footpath in Northampton fenced off without warning two months ago has finally reopened to the public.
The footpath at the junction of Cattle Market Road and Bridge Street, used by hundreds everyday, was closed off by the landowner on Friday, September 22, causing public outcry.
On Wednesday night (December 6), the footpath was officially reopened to the public.
It is believed the landowner fenced off the site in response to plans being rejected by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) to convert the location into a retail store.
It was previously revealed that the now defunct Northampton Borough Council previously sold off the land, which also included the contested footpath.
A WNC spokeswoman told this newspaper that a deal had been struck to reopen the land to the public. The council says its purchase of the land is still going through and full details will be revealed once finalised.
Independent councillor Julie Davenport (Rushmere and Delapre ward) has been pushing to get the site reopened since it first closed.
Councillor Davenport said: “I am so very happy. A big thank you to all involved. I would especially like to thank everyone who has signed the petition and everyone who has taken the time to write to me with proof that the path has been used from 1761.
"People power and the power of the Northampton Chronicle and BBC Radio Northampton, who have highlighted this issue to those in power, has shown, once again, that the public will always fight for their rights.
"Mistakes may have been made with the original sale, but the WNC has remedied those to ensure everyone is happy with the result. I’m thankful that councillor Jonathan Nunn and councillor Phil Larratt were determined to do the right thing for the people of West Northants."
The landowner who closed off the site previously told this newspaper that he was ‘thrilled to see the deal completed and resolved soon’.