Footbridge is finally replaced

Sudbury: Footbridge finally ready after long legal battle. Philip Richardson and Brian Cook are both pleased to see a footbridge on a pubic right of way which has opened after a long legal battle. Picture Mark Westley ANL-151124-155727009
Sudbury: Footbridge finally ready after long legal battle. Philip Richardson and Brian Cook are both pleased to see a footbridge on a pubic right of way which has opened after a long legal battle. Picture Mark Westley ANL-151124-155727009

A bid to have a footbridge on a popular Sudbury footpath replaced has finally ended in success after an eight-year battle.

The footpath at Kipling’s Meadow, near Hall Road in Borley, had been used since the Second World War but was closed off in 2007 with barbed wire and grease.

There was a dispute as to the path’s use a public right of way, with a legal challenge by one of the landowners, however this challenge was dropped in April and a footbridge that had been removed has now been replaced.

“This is the successful end to an eight-year journey with many twists and turns and achieves the goal of recognising the right of way used by past generations,” said campaigner Philip Richardson.

“This provides a delightful walk along the mill stream to Brundon Mill and on along the Belchamp Brook to the well used Valley Trail.

“It is a substantial relief that a path I had used for years is now officially recognised.

“The contractors to the Local Authority have made an excellent job of constructing a bridge to link the Suffolk and Essex portions of the designated path to be used for generations to come.”

Mr Richardson said he was “incensed” when he found out the path had been blocked and the bridge had been removed completely.

Mr Richardson made an application to Suffolk County Council for reinstatement in 2007 after gathering evidence.

He was supported by 16 witness statements, as well as being given the backing of Suffolk county councillor for Sudbury John Sayers, who himself was a regular user of the path.

With the landowner’s objection withdrawn in April, on June 22 the Secretary of State for the Environment confirmed the path.

The route leads from Melford Road to the Valley Trail at Brundon and gives alternative and shorter access across field paths from the north of Sudbury to Brundon Lane, Borley and Ballingdon.