Mystery over who owns Burgess Hill footpath

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Governors are trying to solve a mystery about who owns a footpath near their school.

They want to see the section of path near St Wilfrid’s RC School at Burgess Hill brought up to standard when it is re-opened after local flat-building work is finished.

Angela O'Hara (Head) and Jane Billings (Chair of governors) of St Wilfrids School, Burgess Hill (inset) by a section of footpath needing repairs no council will own up to owning

Angela O'Hara (Head) and Jane Billings (Chair of governors) of St Wilfrids School, Burgess Hill (inset) by a section of footpath needing repairs no council will own up to owning

But so far their inquiries have drawn a blank and they are hoping publicity in the Middy might bring some clues.

Chairman of school governors Jane Billings said: “It’s been going on for years. We know who owns the bit either end but the bit in the middle is no-man’s land.

“Nobody will own up to owning the middle bit.

“I have been living in Burgess Hill for 45 years and it’s always been a thoroughfare, although not, I believe, an official right of way.

“The access to the infants playground is off this section of footpath so we have a lot of parents using it. I would imagine it will be a lot busier too when the flats are built because it is a useful route to the town centre.”

Fellow govenor Rebecca Bromley said: “The school has been trying for years to find out. The footpath needs attention because it is in bad condition.

“We have tried the town council, district council and county council, and also the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, but they definitely don’t own it.

“It’s bizarre that no-one seems to own it.

“I don’t think anybody wants to take responsibility for it because of money.

“It’s very narrow and the surface is cracking up. It would be good to have it wider and to improve the lighting there.”