Long-running Sudbury-Cornard footpath saga set to be resolved

Great Cornard Dove House Meadow Mill Tye
Picture Mark Westley
Great Cornard Dove House Meadow Mill Tye Picture Mark Westley

Work on a bridge connecting a footpath between Sudbury and Great Cornard should start in the coming months.

At Sudbury’s full council meeting last Tuesday, district councillor Jan Osborne told members that legal agreements for the short stretch of land required to complete the path had now been signed, with work due to start soon.

Mrs Osborne’s update came after town councillor John Sayers (pictured right) asked for news on the path, which will follow the River Stour.

Mrs Osborne said: “We have moved on quite a lot. I know it has taken far too long.

“The legal agreements are now all signed and are with solicitors.

“We hope everything will be signed off and work will start in late spring, or early summer.”

Mrs Osborne said she was emailing the solicitors every week to ensure progress on the contracts.

The River Stour pathway project has dragged on for more than 15 years, with the district council locked in long-running negotiations for the final piece of land, owned by the Sudbury and Long Melford District Angling Association.

A small piece of land around 50 yards long is needed to connect the two ends of the pathway.

Funds were set aside for the path as part of a section 106 agreement – money secured from developers to offset the impact of large-scale builds – when the Bakers Mill development in Great Cornard was approved.

An agreement was reached between the council and the angling society more than four years ago, only for further talks to subsequently break down.

Negotiations resumed in 2015 and the society offered a figure to sell the land in July last year.

The council was also offered a larger piece of land, but it is not believed the authority has taken up this offer.