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Walkers granted access in golfing row

Posted 4 March 2010
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Walkers granted access in golfing row
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Walkers using an area of land in the north-east of England have been granted the rights of access after a council was ordered to class it as a village green by the Supreme Court.

Coatham Common will now receive the classification from Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council following a court appeal backed by the Open Spaces Society, a decision the body described as "monumental".

The common has been used by golfers and previous attempts to have the land reclassified were rejected by High Court and Court of Appeal judges because walkers had habitually stopped to allow players to complete their strokes.

Judge Lord Walker said that he had "great difficulty" in interpreting the "courtesy" of walkers towards the golfers as a sign that they were "not asserting a right to take recreation on the disputed land".

People living in the Cleveland area can get walking gear at the Go Outdoors store in Stockton-on-Tees.

Other recent court successes for walkers backed by the Open Spaces Society includes the ruling by the High Court that Somerset landowner Brian Herrick - who owns Barcroft Hall near South Petherton - must remove gates obstructing a public right of way.

Posted by Dan Mirza