Inquiry may be needed

PUBLISHED: 11:10 18 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:34 17 June 2010

MOVES to re-route a popular footpath, which runs along the banks of the River Otter near Wiggaton, could go to a public inquiry if landowners object.

MOVES to re-route a popular footpath, which runs along the banks of the River Otter near Wiggaton, could go to a public inquiry if landowners object.The public right of way on the river's east bank between Sandgate Lane and Tipton Roller Mills has been closed near Little Burcombe Farm due to erosion.Devon County Council officers have been negotiating with the landowners about a diversion to allow the footpath to reopen.However, a report to DCC said: "The landowners were strenuously opposed to the diversion of the path as they felt that the river bank could be reinstated."DCC officers and the Environment Agency consider this reinstatement would be hugely expensive and impractical.A letter from the EA to the landowners states there are already considerable problems with bank erosion at Tipton St John.And any planned alterations to the river bed or banks should take into account potential impacts on third parties upstream and downstream.DCC agreed on March 4 to make an order to divert the footpath.Any public inquiry would be held locally during Autumn 2008.

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