HUNDREDS of people have joined the fight over a footpath in Kettlethorpe.
Locals say they have used the path, which links Kettlethorpe Road to Barnsley Road, near the Pledwick Inn, for more than 50 years.
But they were recently stopped in their tracks when a beck that used to flow under the bridge part way along the footpath, was diverted around it by landowner, making it impossible to cross.
Council chiefs say the natural path is not a recorded right of way, and it is not the only route up to Barnsley Road. But more than 500 people have signed a petition to save it. Locals have also applied to get the path registered.
Maurice Bramham, 71, of Rockley Drive, said: “There is no sign to say it’s private land, and he had no right to dig a big hole in the middle of the path when he knew that people were campaigning.”
But landowner Michael Hirst, director of Heritage Holdings Ltd, which owns the Pledwick Inn, said the path has caused nothing but problems.
He said: “We have spent a lot of money refurbishing the pub and have had trouble with things being stolen from the beer garden and gangs of youths hanging around. Not only that, but the dog fouling on our cricket pitch, where children and adults play is a disgrace.”
Mr Hirst said he offered the residents use of another route, but the offer was declined.
He said he would do all he could to defend the land, but added “if the law says we have to re-instate the path then we will.”