Snettisham Beach

Snettisham villagers and friends celebrate.

4th October 2014. Norfolk County Council has now updated its definitive map to include the path following the public inquiry in June.

A total of 46 people went to the Royal British Legion Hall on Monday to celebrate and to officially wind up the parish council’s beach footpath working party. Parish council chairman Eric Langford said: “It was a really nice social gathering.

“For quite a few of the people who came along this was the first time in 40 years they had seen each other.

“We also served the sausage rolls which had been so popular at the public inquiry.”

The elebrations have been marred as one of the signs (pictured left) has already been taken from a post, just days after it was erected.

The parish council and villagers had been arguing over the status of the beach path for years with property owners who said it had never been a public right of way.


Snettisham Beach Rights of Way

Further to the recent publication of the result of Public Inquiry please be advised of the Council’s intention to erect statutory Public Footpath signs on Monday 29 September 2014. This date has been fixed to take account of the six week period allowed for legal/procedural challenges (which will run from 15 Aug, when formal notices will be placed on the route, ending 26 September). It is the Council’s intention to erect a Fingerpost at the northern end of the route (at position ‘A’ on the Order map) and appropriate way markers along the route.

Owners of any signs that conflict with the status of the Public Footpath are respectfully asked to  remove them at their earliest convenience, but at the latest prior to the 29 September. Any signs that conflict with the status of the route that remain on 29 September will be removed by the County Council. The Council may seek to recover its costs in removing unlawful signs.

I have sent this email to the Local County Councillor, RSPB, Environment Agency, Mr Chapman on behalf of the Snettisham Beach Residents Association and Snettisham Parish Council.

Yours sincerely

Tim Edmunds
Network Manager
Norfolk County Council

Snettisham Victory – inspector rules public right of way

Villagers are celebrating after a planning inspector has ruled that a beach footpath is a public right of way ending a four-year battle.

Government planning inspector Peter Millman has now ruled that the disputed coastal path at Snettisham beach should now be added on to the definitive map, following a public inquiry in June.

The ruling settles a long running row over the path between Snettisham Parish Council and a number of beach property owners, who claimed it was private land and put up a series of signs stating there was no public access.

On Sunday, the result was celebrated by more than 100 walkers with two alpine horns.

Parish council chairman Eric Langford said: “It is a victory for the village, for visitors and local businesses.

“This is wonderful news. It has been four long years of hard work.

“I would like to thank Lillian and Roger Richards who gave up a large part of their lives to this along with the people who filled in evidence forms and sent letters of support.

“Thanks also goes to the people who gave evidence. I would also like to thank the chalet owners and members of the sailing club who gave evidence in support of the council’s case.”

The week-long inquiry was held in the Memorial Hall in June after landowners objected last year to a Norfolk County Council bid to add the path to the map after an application was lodged by villagers.

Land owners, walkers and visitors gave evidence during the inquiry.

The parish council has spent more than £8,000 during the public inquiry.

Mr Langford is now calling on the county council to make sure the “no public access” signs are taken down.

He said: “I am very disappointed about the lack of support and approach taken by the county council in the inquiry. This little parish council has been left to carry the can.

“Please take a responsible stance and ensure that these misleading signs are now removed.”

While the main battle has been won, the council will be heading to Lynn County Court on September 22 and 23 to object to property owners’ claims of owning land below the path and part of the beach.

A county council spokesman said: “We are still studying the full detail of the inspector’s ruling but we are delighted that the views of those people who asked the county council to establish the footpath as a public right of way (PROW) have been vindicated – and pleased that the report upholds the opinion that we also came to when we reviewed the evidence all those months ago.

“As soon as we are confident that there is no legal challenge to the inspector’s ruling we will take action to remove signs that conflict with its status as a public right of way – or indeed anything that obstructs the ability of people to use it – and installing new ones to reflect its status.

“We understand that people are frustrated that this issue has taken such a long time to resolve. But the process for establishing the legal status of a PROW is a lengthy one – not least to ensure that everyone’s views are fairly and properly considered – and this is the process that we have ensured has been followed throughout.”

Thanks From Snettisham

Dear Ian and Alan

Many thanks for attending the public inquiry.  We are all delighted with the inspectors decision to confirm this order.

I hope the Ramblers will add this route to their walks and when the walks are published can they be sent to the parish council who would very much like to work with you.

Please can you pass this on to Alan Jones and other local Ramblers.

Thank you again, we at Snettisham have won a great victory.

Best wishes

Snettisham Beach path Inquiry – order confirmed

Those attending the Snettisham Beach path inquiry have just received their postal copies of the order decision which confirms the path order.  Snettisham Parish Council must be congratulated in persuing the matter, as the chief promoter of the order.  2 of our members: Ian Smith and Allan Jones gave very clear evidence of their use of the path, which helped me immeasurably in presenting a separate case on behalf of the Ramblers.

This is likely to make Natural England’s life easier when eventually it comes to consider a coastal route round the Wash.

In the shorter term it may help Norfolk County Council to adopt the Norfolk Ramblers “Iceni Way” (from Thetford down the Little and Great Ouses to Kings Lynn and then to Hunstanton) as a Norfolk Trail.

The Planning Inspectorate have not yet put up the decision on their website.

Ian Mitchell

Area Footpath Secretary