A campaign group is threatening a London council with court action for failing to make sure a footpath is reopened.

The Open Spaces Society says the footpath, across Northwick Park golf course, has been illegally blocked. It says when its general secretary Kate Ashbrook tried to walk the route with local MP Barry Gardiner last month, it was impossible to follow because of obstructions.

Ms Ashbrook said: “Public footpaths are highways, just like any road, and Brent Council has a legal duty to ensure that they are not blocked. Yet footpath number 37 is obstructed by a padlocked gate, a tall wire fence and a water tank, which we believe to have been erected by Playgolf as part of the massive golf-course development here.  It is impossible for the public to walk the route.  

“Brent Council has known about these blockages for some time and yet it has done almost nothing about them.

“The council served a notice on Playgolf in January to reopen the route within 60 days.  That time expired, the route remained blocked and the council did not take enforcement action.”

Now the society is using a new law to force Brent Council to remove all three obstructions. If nothing is done, campaigners say they will take the authority to magistrates court to get action to reopen the path.

Ms Ashbrook said: “The Open Spaces Society will not stand by and watch the public’s rights being abused by a council’s failure to carry out its duty.”

It is a criminal offence to block a public right of way.