Snettisham villagers celebrate the end of a four year footpath campaign

Snettisham Parish Council have declared the footpath working group closed. Picture: Ian Burt

Snettisham Parish Council have declared the footpath working group closed. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Villagers gathered to mark the end of a four year dispute over a footpath being declared a public right of way.

And Eric Langford, chairman of the Snettisham Parish Council declared the working group, that led the campaign, officially closed in a speech to the many people that turned up to the British Legion for the final meeting.

But it was revealed that there are still a few remaining signs claiming that there is no right of way, despite a government inspector throwing objections out back in July.

Mr Langford, said: 'It is a matter for the county council now, and the deadline for the signs to be down is today.

'The footpath is there forever and this is a deep felt thanks to all, without you all this would not have happened, it's a tremendous achievement. I would like to say a special thanks to Lilan Richardson in the working group, who has done so much even though she is not a councillor.'

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Mrs Richardson, who devoted her time to the four-year fight said that she is relieved it has all come to an end.

She said: 'My husband and I felt very strongly about the footpath, it was a challenge but it was worth it. But I felt that not being a councillor it was more beneficial as I was a free agent.'

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The footpath dispute started in 2010 after a handful of chalet owners claimed the mile-long track along the sea defences was private and had never been a public footpath.

But hundreds submitted written evidence forms to a public inquiry last month, saying they had been using the disputed route for decades. In the spring, more than 1,000 turned out to support a protest walk.

Councillor Maria Fountain said: 'I have got a bed and breakfast on the beach and I am so glad I can now say to guests they can use the footpath now. Everyone can enjoy it, it is such a beautiful place to walk.'

After the meeting, villagers celebrated with a buffet and refreshments and looked over historical photographs that were taken of Snettisham and ones that were throughout the campaign.

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