Victory for walkers in dog fight over path
- Credit: Archant
Plans to fence off a garden that has been used by dog walkers have been refused.
Landowners applied to change the use of land of 6 and 7 Burdock Close in Downham Market from an open to enclosed garden.
But walkers objected to the plans and have taken issue with fences that have been put up, claiming they have used the site for years.
The land, which is privately owned by the applicants, was used as an amenity area. The ground lies to the south of the properties and leads on to London Road.
Councillors voted against the planning application in a meeting on Monday, September 2.
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Mrs Endresz, one of the applicant's, said: "The developers only moved out in 2007, preventing the use of this area by the public as it was a privately-owned building site subject to health and safety law. Since that time the public have been inadvertently trespassing upon private land.
"Enclosing our garden does not create jeopardy or precedent.
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"Should the application be refused, we are unable to enjoy our own gardens with privacy and security. But as land owners, we retain the right in law to fence the garden with a meter-high fence. This benefits no-one.
"In light of this, we are willing to offer a gesture of goodwill to move the current fence back to leave a meter strip which will allow public access and transfer the meter strip to the council."
Downham Market Town council and walkers objected to the application on the grounds it will reduce green space and obstructs people from accessing a footpath.
Speaking on behalf of Downham Market Town council, the town clerk, Elaine Oliver said: "We will not support the lose of public amenity areas."
Councillor Charles Joyce said: "How are we going to tell the owners what to do with their own land?
"Where do we draw the line?"
Councillor Christine Hudson said: "I wouldn't want anybody walking along the bottom of my garden, it is their land and if the council wants a footpath they should buy it."
Walkers are hoping to apply to get the land listed as a public footpath.