Change to footpath in inspector’s hands

A Stanstead couple’s application to divert a footpath around their garden has been passed to the planning inspector by Babergh District Council.

Bill and Jenny Armit submitted an application to the district council to reroute a 65-metre section of a footpath, which runs from Lower Street, around the garden of their home on The Hill.

The parish council objected to the plan in November and reiterated its concerns, which centred on the loss of amenity for users of the path and its historic significance, last month.

Nick Elliott, public realm support officer at Babergh District Council, said: “The period for representations on the diversion order closed on June 12.

“We have received nine individual objections, 12 individuals in support, a petition objecting containing 72 signatures and a petition supporting containing 62 signatures.”

Mr Elliott said the application has been submitted to the planning inspectorate, which will decide whether to confirm the order or not on behalf of the Secretary of State.

The inspectorate will choose to use either written representations, a hearing or an inquiry to make its decision.

If written representations are chosen, a decision is expected within 37 weeks of the order being received. An inquiry could take up to 45 weeks and a hearing up to 39 weeks.

Mr Armit said: “We are quietly content that the process is being worked through and we will wait to hear what the next development will be.”