SOME recent correspondents have challenged the claims made in my earlier letter about the plan to close the footpath between Kingsbrook and Burstellars/Laburnum Way, St Ives. Please permit me to reply.

Status: This footpath has acquired the recognised status of a 'presumed footpath' under common law and/or statute law because it has been well used daily by members of the public of all ages, without interruption, for more than 20 years.

My application, currently being processed by the definitive map officer, seeks to elevate its status to a public right of way.

Evidence: Evidence of the path's original tarmac surface and edging boards can clearly be seen in places. Why would the district council regularly cut the grass throughout its entire length if it were "waste land", as claimed?

Consultation: After my meeting with Mr Gilbert, headmaster of the St Ivo School, I received written confirmation of his support for my application. Rosemary Mullen, the safer routes to school project officer, also supported my application in writing.

Petition: I am not responsible for the petition accredited to me but I have been greatly heartened by the many positive responses my application has triggered.

Solution: There is a simple solution that should satisfy all parties involved. Instead of erecting six-feet-high fences across both ends of the pathway between Nos 4 and 6 Kingsbrook, why not supplement the existing three-foot chain link fence along the boundary of No 6 with a six-foot fence? This way walkers can continue to use the footpath, and the residents at No 6 will be screened from any anti-social behaviour.

Support: If the proposed closure of this footpath concerns your readers, they should complete a user evidence form available from the definitive map officer on 01223 715626 or e-mail steve.ouditt@cambridgeshire.gov.uk as soon as possible.

IAN PENFOLD

Kingsbrook

St Ives