Hundreds of workers concerned they would no longer be able to take a short-cut to work after a planning application was submitted for a fence have been reassured there will be a gap for them to walk through.
For several decades, the route across wasteland from Pen Green Lane balancing lakes to Brunel Road has been used by people walking from the Lloyds estate to the Earlstrees Industrial Estate.
But owners Metropolitan Housing and the Homes and Communities Agency want to put up a 1.8m metal fence that would stop the land being used by vehicles.
Workers were concerned they would be sent on a two-mile detour around the fence detailed in plans submitted to Corby Borough Council.
Orchard Foods office worker Caroline Nutt uses the route for her ten-minute walk to work from her home in Naysmith Avenue. She said: “My journey would have increased to around 30 minutes and I start at 7.30am so that’s significant for me.
“It’s used by hundreds of people and it’s been used as a path for as long as I can remember.
“There was a notice put up a few weeks ago but I’m not sure many people are aware of the application.
“So many people start work at 6am and it’s much more convenient for them to be able to use that path than to have to walk all the way around Rockingham Road.”
East Lloyds Community Association had also raised concerns that local people might not be able to pass through the fence. It reads: “This short cut to the industrial estate has been in use constantly for nearly 30yrs. It may not be a designated right of way. But its daily use over three generations proves it is considered by residents of Corby as a valuable right of way.
“Blocking the pathway with a fence would then cause those workers to make a two-mile detour each way to and from work.
A Metropolitan Housing spokesman said: ““We appreciate that some local residents use this site as an unofficial shortcut and access will still be available via a gap left in the fencing at the end of Brunel Road.”