As 2023 comes to an end, we thought we should give an update on the progress of our application for a Public Footpath within Fox Hill that was submitted to the Council at the end of October 2019. The order, if granted, is known as a Definitive Map Modification Order (DMMO).
Earlier this year, notices appeared at both ends of the path route asking for any representations or objections to be sent to the Council by the end of July 2023. WBC have informed us that one communication was received but they have been unable to ascertain if this was a comment or a complaint. They have written to the correspondent, but the last information we have been given is this has not been responded to, so the Council have sent another letter to them. If no representations or objections are outstanding the Order can be confirmed. However, if one or more objections are received, the matter must be submitted to the Secretary of State for a possible hearing.
In general, the Council have been receiving several applications, especially for bridleways which are slowing the process down. It is not just Wokingham experiencing this, councils across the country are. This is due to the Government placing an end date of January 2031 on when applications can be made. Groups such as The Ramblers and The British Horse Society are working hard on making submissions caused by this. Two local examples are an application for a Public Footpath along Chestnut Avenue between Northway and Bearwood Road and making a Bridleway between the Barkham Road and Limmerhill.
Friends of Fox Hill are hoping that if our application is approved, we can explore applying for other routes which failed in our earlier application as they did not connect to a Public Right of Way or Road at both ends; the new route would answer this for some.