Sea Palling homeowners are angry about path

Sea Palling beach

Sea Palling beach - Credit:

It is intended to wind alongside idyllic beaches, dunes and cliffs for the enjoyment of holidaymakers and ramblers.

But a new section of the England Coast Path is causing anger and resentment in neighbouring Norfolk villages.

The route between Sea Palling and Waxham has been opposed by residents who claim it will invade their privacy and harm the local environment.

Part of an 18-mile section of the national trail to Hopton, it is due to open later this year.

Following the landward side of the dunes, the route passes close to several homes and holiday cottages.

Sea Palling residents Eileen and Don Quigley are objecting to the route of the new national coastal

Sea Palling residents Eileen and Don Quigley are objecting to the route of the new national coastal trail - Credit: Archant

Natural England, which is responsible for the opening of the trail, is accused of being 'unaccountable' by villagers owning nearby properties.

The government quango rejected calls from the parish council for the footpath to follow either the beach or Waxham Road, in favour of creating a new pathway.

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Jane Duncanson has decided it will no longer be possible to let her holiday bungalow, close to Waxham beach, when the path opens.

She said: 'I cannot justify continuing to advertise the bungalow as quiet and secluded and have taken the painful decision to stop letting the property.

'The parish council strongly opposed the plans, but what upsets me is the unaccountability of Natural England.'

Lorraine Quigley claims the health of her elderly parents, Don and Eileen, has suffered since learning the path would pass close to their home. She said: 'The path crosses the driveway to mum and dad's house and they are concerned about privacy.'

Sea Palling Parish Council chairman Alexandra Allen said: 'I am concerned Natural England has taken a high- handed approach and not listened to suggestions put forward.'

The recommended route was supported by a planning inspector and approved by Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss in September.

A Natural England spokesman said it struck a 'fair balance' between the rights of the public and landowners.

He added that the beach was deemed unsafe by the Coastguard, and Waxham Road was unsuitable because of fast traffic and a narrow verge.

A public meeting is being held to discuss the coast path at Sea Palling Village Hall on February 17 from 7.30pm.

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