Tenterden Town Council has paid tribute to local residents whose 18-month campaign to secure recognition of a much-used walking route on Limes Land has resulted in Kent County Council (KCC) implementing its formal adoption as an official public footpath.
The campaign, started by local resident Samantha Reed, meant proving that the one-and-a-half kilometre path had been regularly used for at least 20 years; securing written testimonies from 19 supporters; liaising regularly with KCC; and earning endorsement from the Town Council and the Limes Land Protection Group.
The path is on a site which has been the subject of a planning application for 250 homes by Wates builders, which has been turned down by both Tenterden Town Council and Ashford Borough Council.
Says Sam: “People feel strongly that if this path was lost due to development, then it would be gone forever, along with its precious flora and fauna. Without the important evidence provided by residents, which was challenged unsuccessfully by Wates, the application would not have reached this stage.
“A survey was also conducted which proved that during lockdown this footpath was used by up to 300 people a day. It is a priceless, long-term asset to the town, particularly valuable for mental health and wellbeing during lockdown”.
Says Cllr John Crawford, chairman of the Town Council’s planning committee: “This has been a terrific effort by Sam and her colleagues, which has taken months of hard work to come to fruition.
“For generations, Limes Land has been used by families, walkers, joggers and ramblers enjoying the tranquility and beauty of the countryside.”
Kent County Council has posted notification that any objections to the adoption of the footpath must be registered by 28 January.