Winterton footpath bid
VILLAGERS are getting together in a bid to persuade Norfolk County Council to re-open a popular footpath linking Winterton and Hemsby that has been blocked since last spring.
They have lodged an application with the authority and are gathering evidence that the route has been used for many years by residents and tourists alike.
Controversy surrounded the sudden closure in April, when barriers went up blocking off a short gap on privately-owned land between the Winterton Valley and Long Beach holiday complexes.
The only other routes are along the busy Hemsby Road or through the valley in the dunes.
Richard Verschoyle, who is involved in the bid, said: “We’re getting a lot of support from locals. We’ve been able to show that this whole route and the 20 yards of cut through has been in use since 1938.”
Archive photos have also shown it was used during the Second World War when the chalet site was a radar station and soldiers were billeted in a camp at Long Beach.
Although the route has never been an official public footpath, it is popular with cyclists, pedestrians, mobility scooter users and mums with pushchairs to get to shops, amusements and facilities in Hemsby.
Former resident June Hudson said: “My parents owned a bungalow on Long Beach in the 40's and 50's and my sister and I can clearly remember walking through to Winterton, round the edge of the fields, now Winterton Valley Chalet Park.”
Dozens of evidence forms have been submitted from chalet owners, however Mr Verschoyle explained the council required more evidence from people who used the route but did not live along it.
So regular visitors and residents in Winterton and Hemsby have been urged to come forward to add more information in support of the application. One woman in her 90s has remembered using the route when she was in her teens.
If granted the right of way will be a mile and-a-half, even though the section that is currently blocked is only a few metres long.
“When we went to the council and said we wanted to try and get a right of way they said it had to run from public land to public land, which means that it has to go from a road in Winterton to another road in Hemsby,” explained Mr Verschoyle.
If the council accepts the application a public notice will be issued. Providing no objections are made by the 28th day, the order may be confirmed.
Anyone who has used the route and wants to submit evidence can contact Mr Verschoyle on 01493 730180 or Helen Mann via email at