Public have used this way for many years

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I have hill walked and then lived in Todmorden for many years, in that time I have always walked through the grounds of Todmorden Old Hall from Rise Lane to Hall Street and vice versa; not once in all that time did I find the gates locked and not once did anyone at the hall say anything to me.

Today (Friday, September 20) when I got off the train and walked down Rise Lane to walk through the hall grounds I was greeted by a padlock on the gates.

I walked round to the Hall Street side and the first thing I noticed was a new sign which read: “Todmorden Old Hall North, Private Grounds,”

I noticed that a gentleman was inside the grounds unloading his car. I asked him why, after 20 years of unopposed use I had found the gate locked.

“I have bought the property, these grounds are private, there is no public right of way,” he said.

I pointed out to him that this path had been used by the people of Todmorden for many years.

When I got home I rang the Calderdale rights of way team and was told Councillor Frank McManus had lodged a public right of way claim in 2011 and that it was still being dealt with. The staff member told me that he would send me a form to fill in to give my evidence to support the claim.

He says that anyone who has evidence who would like to complete a form should e-mail him on:

Ian.turner@calderrdale.gov.uk and he will send them a form.

I would be very grateful if you could print my letter so that the people of Todmorden know about this.

Jack Straw,

Todmorden.