Residents in Dinnington have launched a campaign to get footpaths legally recognised after the land was earmarked for development.
The site behind Birkdale Avenue has been earmarked for land in the Local Plan, which is currently out for consultation.
Residents say the land has been used for walking, cycling and horse riding for decades and in order to ensure a right of way remains, if the land is built on, they want the footpaths legally recognised.
The Love Dinnington group, which is behind the campaign, has been busy leafleting homes in the area. It needs to prove the paths have been used for 20 years.
Lewis Sadler, of Birkdale Avenue, said they have already had a ‘tremendous’ response from residents.
He added: “It’s quite a long process (registering the paths) but once it is done, it’s done for all time.”
A spokesman for Rotherham Council confirmed that the site is earmarked for housing within the Local Plan and that any rights of way, if they were recognised, would have to be incorporated into any eventual planning application.
She added: “If the site LDF0219 does become allocated for development and local footpaths do become public rights of way, any eventual planning application would have to incorporate the paths into its design and layout.”
“As long as rights of way are maintained and/or are diverted via suitable routes through or around the development it is unlikely that their existence alone would prevent development.”