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Great Cornard Crab Hill Lane row nears conclusion as Suffolk County Council back campaigners

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Campaigners hoping a lane in their village will be officially recognised as a public right of way have been backed by the county council.

Villagers want Crab Hill Lane in Great Cornard, Suffolk - which they say has been used by people for more than 100 years - recognised as a right of way on official maps.

The campaign began after a homeowner living along the lane put up a gate in March, 2020, blocking access.

Residents on Crab Hill Lane earlier this year.
Residents on Crab Hill Lane earlier this year.

Following complaints from users, Great Cornard Parish Council submitted an application to the county council in June, seeking to add Crab Hill Lane to a register of public footpaths.

Local residents also started an online petition, which attracted national interest from horse riding and walking groups and amassed more than 2,000 signatures.

They believe Crab Hill had been left off official maps as an oversight in 1970s.

A report into the lane, the owner of which is unknown, was compiled by county council officers and presented to its development and regulation committee in October.

The committee recommended that a ‘definitive map modification order’ be made for the lane to be listed officially as a public right of way.

If any objections are made however, the final decision will be made by the Secretary of State.

A council spokesperson said: “The order will be advertised in the press, on Suffolk County Council’s website and by notices posted at either end of the route.

“Copies of the order and the accompanying notice will be served on the affected landowners, the parish council and other parties as required under the legislation.

"There will then be a six-week public objection period.

“If objections are received, the county council must submit the order and any objections to the Secretary of State for a decision.

"The decision is made by an independent inspector, usually after holding a local public inquiry for user evidence cases.

"The inspector may decide to confirm an order, with or without modifications, or not confirm it.”

One of the campaigners, Kay Comber, said: “We are obviously very pleased but it’s still too early to celebrate.”

The homeowner at the centre of the dispute has been approached for comment.

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