Since 2010 Councillor Muir has been campaigning to ensure King John’s Highway is re-opened and has worked closely with the Ulster Federation of Rambling Clubs and Holywood Conservation Group to guarantee this became a reality.
It was under Councillor Muir’s leadership and guidance that a campaign group was established, which relentlessly lobbied North Down Borough Council to take the necessary action to see the path officially declared a right of way and oversee the removal of any obstructions. The campaign was aided by a petition initiated by Holywood Conservation Group, which was signed by over 250 people.
Until recently North Down Borough Council had been locked in a legal battle with the owner of the surrounding ground – who has now been instructed to remove the padlocked gates blocking the right of way immediately.
Councillor Andrew Muir said: “This is fantastic news proving that a committed campaign can reap the required rewards. Holywood is the gateway to North Down and the re-opening of this public Right of Way ensures another key link to the great outdoors for local people.
“This well fought battle has also restored a piece of Holywood’s history. King John is said to have passed through Holywood in 1210 on his journey from Carrickfergus to Dublin. Legend has it the King spent time on his journey in the Government Bailey, situated on the Holywood Motte, before heading to Dundonald via the King John’s Highway off Creighton’s Green Road.
“Open green space is an asset to any community. Public paths and rights of way like this one are extremely important. I know many will enjoy this pathway and following in the footsteps of Holywood’s famous royal visitors. Along with the Coastal Path upgrades, Holywood will soon have a lot to offer its active residents.”