We are delighted that, thanks to our objection, a public footpath in Norfolk’s Breckland District will remain on its ancient, direct route.
The footpath is at Lyng, four miles south of Reepham. Breckland District Council wanted to move the route which runs past the property Patholme. The council was concerned that the existence of the path was detrimental to the interests of the property’s occupiers, and wanted to shove the path around the edge of the field to the west, introducing two dog-legs.
Mr Ian Witham, the Open Spaces Society’s representative in Norfolk, objected on behalf of the society and the matter was referred to the Planning Inspectorate for determination.
The inspector, Mrs Helen Slade, did not consider that there was any evidence of a problem. She wrote that on her site visit ‘it took a matter of less than 30 second to cross the garden area. I noted that the windows overlooking the path were dressed with blinds to afford privacy to the occupants’ and that there was no evidence ‘to suggest that users of the path feel uncomfortable using the path’.
Says Ian Witham: ‘We are delighted with this result. Many properties co-exist with public paths nearby and there is no difficulty about this. The inspector considered that, although the order had been made in the landowner’s interests, these had not been demonstrated.
‘We are sorry that Breckland District Council spent public money on this fruitless exercise but we are relieved that this footpath will stay on its historic route.’