Did you use these Dereham lanes before 1995?

District councillor Alison Webb is unhappy about the fence Orbit Homes has erected on Cherry Lane, D

District councillor Alison Webb is unhappy about the fence Orbit Homes has erected on Cherry Lane, Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

People who may have used two Dereham lanes more than 20 years ago are being asked to come forward to help the town council claim them as public rights of way.

As reported last week walkers have been complaining about the fencing erected by developer Orbit Homes along Cherry Lane which they say is too narrow and makes it uncomfortable passing people coming the other way.

Orbit has outline planning permission for 220 homes off Cherry Lane and Greefields Lane and is currently soil testing on the site.

As a result the town council, and district councillor Alison Webb, decided to start preparing evidence so that Cherry Lane and also Hall Lane, which runs alongside the A47, can be claimed as public rights of way.

Town council clerk Tony Needham said: 'Claims for these rights of way were submitted prior to the bypass (A47) being built but never got completed.

'Orbit Homes had previously reassured the town council that they would retain these rights of way as part of the development but there seems to be no guarantee as to the width that would be maintained.

'Given that Orbit Homes are obstinately refusing to move the fencing, obstructing part of the historic Cherry Lane and that their representative has indicated that they believe that they have the right block these lanes off completely the council felt that it had no option but to resurrect the claims.'

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In submitting a claim evidence forms need to be completed by members of the public to prove that they have been used for more than 20 years.

The town council is asking anybody who used these lanes prior to 1995 to come forward and complete an evidence form which is available from the town council office and the Dereham Windmill Coffee shop.

Evidence packs can also be sent out to people by emailing your address to: generalenquiries@derehamtowncouncil.org.

With sufficient evidence a claim can be made to Norfolk County Council to protect the lanes in perpetuity.

* There will be a drop-in session at the Dereham Windmill on Saturday, January 30 between 11am and 1pm for anybody who needs to discuss or help with filling in an evidence form.

* Do you think the lanes should be claimed as rights of way? Email kathryn.cross@archant.co.uk.

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