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Decision is bridge too far, says group

Posted 25 May 2010
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Decision is bridge too far, says group
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The Open Spaces Society has criticised a decision to grant retrospective planning permission for a horse riding area in the Ashdown Forest that crosses a famous footpath.

Wealden District Council gave the green light after the route was unlawfully created by Mr and Mrs Ben Praagh of Faircote Hall, which includes a stretch that crosses Poohsticks Bridge, immortalised in the series of children's books by AA Milne.

General secretary of the society Kate Ashbrook said the organisation was "dismayed" at the decision, noting that the location stands in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

She added: "We shall fight this doggedly. The development is a blot on the landscape and severely interferes with people's enjoyment of this important footpath."

East Sussex County Council, Hartfield Parish Council and the Ramblers also opposed the application.

Those who like to go walking across heathland may enjoy visiting Ashdown Forest, with this kind of terrain making up nearly two-thirds of its 6,500 acres, 2.5 per cent of the UK's total of such habitat.

Posted by Dan Mirza