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Decision over scenic Dereham footpath

PUBLISHED: 09:21 05 August 2008 | UPDATED: 14:39 07 July 2010

Robyn Greenacre

Fears a scenic Dereham footpath would be open to traffic have temporarily been allayed.

Norfolk County Council applied to change the status of a popular footpath running along Northall Green Lane, Neatherd Moor and Etling Green, to a public right of way for vehicular traffic.

Fears that a scenic Dereham footpath would be open to traffic have temporarily been allayed.

Norfolk County Council applied to change the status of a popular footpath, running along Northall Green Lane, Neatherd Moor and Etling Green, to a public right of way for vehicular traffic.

The council has previously said it was merely to reflect the size of the footpath, which is larger in real life than it appears on maps, and there were no plans to concrete over the grassy area.

But residents fought against the proposal claiming that once the status was granted there was nothing stopping traffic using the route and the lives of cyclists and dog-walkers would be in jeopardy.

A planning inspectorate held an inquiry on June 25 and the findings have now been released, which should satisfy both sides.

The inspector has made an interim decision to not use the term 'byway open to all traffic', or 'footpath' to describe the route, instead calling it a 'restricted byway'.

The decision is only temporary while the suggested proposals are put out to public consultation, after which, if there are no objections, it will be made permanent.

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