Missing riverside walk is back on planning agenda

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Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Changes to a planning application for a long-awaited riverside walk – linking Great Cornard to Sudbury – were approved yesterday.

The walk, which includes building a bridge across the River Stour, starts on land north of Dove House Meadow in Great Cornard.

The application was approved three years ago but, following delays over acquiring the land, and residents’ concerns over safety aspects, amendments to the plan were put before councillors this week.

They included changes to the bridge design, relocating the footpath route, and altering the surfacing and fencing.

The bridge’s side rails will be enclosed and bow-top railings have been introduced at either end with a self-closing gate at the entrance from Dove Meadow House.

On the Free Press Facebook page, Brenda Mordey said: “Brilliant – hope it’s done.”

And Clare Lawrance said: “It’s a great idea. The road is so busy and the footpath is not pram-friendly. I would definitely use it.”

Lynsey McCarthy said: “Anything that helps people use their bikes is a great idea.”

The footpath has been in the pipeline for the last 20 years. It is being funded from a section 106 agreement – money paid to local authorities by developers to mitigate the impact of large-scale projects – worth £15,000 from Barrett Homes, which built the nearby housing estate, Bakers Mill.

The long delays have resulted from complex land swaps and legal issues involving the acquisition of a strip of land from the Sudbury and District Angling Society as well as the River Stour Trust.

Last year, it was revealed that Babergh District Council even employed a detective to track down a trustee of one of the land owners to resolve the delay.