Ramblers win 18 year battle over Suffolk footpath

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An 18 year dispute over a footpath through the Suffolk countryside has been won by ramblers.

A government inspector has ruled that the path, which runs through farmland between Stansfield and Depden, near Sudbury, is an official right of way.

The dispute began in 1993 when the landowners applied for a kilometre (0.62 mile) stretch of the path to be deleted from official records.

The decision follows a public inquiry in 2002 and another hearing in March.

Adrian Morris, head of policy at the Ramblers Association, said: "We're glad, though not surprised, that the inspector has found that this path is public, despite the owner's arguments.

"We see this as a victory for common sense and we look forward to learning that the county council has taken steps to open up the path."

In a statement, Suffolk County Council said it had received notice of the decision not to delete the path from the "definitive map and statement" recording the county's rights of way.

"The council is currently arranging for notices to be sent to affected and interested parties, as required under Schedule 15 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981," it added.

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