Port right of way path dispute

A community council is to ask local authority planning officers to investigate their claims that a well established road remains a right of way despite its recent purchase.

Port William Community Council secretary Jenni Gray was asked by the members to ask for clarity on the situation after South Street residents were told they would have to stop using the path to the rear of their properties.

After some discussion, the community council members were of the opinion that the path, although not listed as an official right of way, has been used as such since the 1800s and should be officially designated as such.

A spokesman for the residents told the Galloway Gazette: “Land at the rear of South Street, Port William has been recently purchased by Viga Developments Ltd, which is believed to be owned by Roy Kennedy, former head of Ayrshire company, Kennedy Construction. Their solicitors have issued notices to residents in South Street requiring them to cease using the lane at the rear of their properties and stating that they are considering whether they need to erect fencing and gates.

“The lane, known as Quay Road, has been in existence since the mid 1800s and is shown on early maps, running from Airlour Creamery into Port William. The pathway is well used, running past King’s Green play area and caravan park, and is a favourite with dog walkers and for accessing the beach. It was always believed that this was a public right of way, however it is not included on the Rights of Way map held by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

“Port William and District Community Council have asked Dumfries and Galloway Council to rectify this and make the road into a right of way. In order to do this ,evidence of use is needed from as many people as possible who are using or have used this path in the past. A simple question and answer form is available from David Hirst at 30 South St, who is collating the information on behalf of Port William Community Council. Already people who have used the path for over 50 years and over 30 years have come forward but more are needed to ensure that this valuable facility is not lost forever.”

Viga Developments is listed at companies House in London but there was no contact number for Mr Kennedy.