A CAMPAIGN to get a well-used walkway in Hadleigh recognised as a public footpath could be thwarted because of regeneration plans.

For more than 70 years residents going from the High Street to London Road have walked between the former Crown pub and the town’s library.

It was sealed up last year, when Morrisons revamped its supermarket, prompting residents to apply to Essex County Council for the path to be recognised as a public right of way.

However, a Castle Point Council spokeswoman said it won’t happen if it interferes with the £60million masterplan for Hadleigh.

A spokeswoman said: “It is not the council’s intention to discourage access across the central island separating the northern and southern parts of Hadleigh town centre. Indeed, as part of the master planning process, links between the two parts of Hadleigh are crucial.

“If the application is successful, the borough council would just apply to have the right of way diverted or closed if it is in the wrong location for the regeneration proposals for Hadleigh town centre.”

Roy Brackin, of Solby’s Lane, Hadleigh, who initiated the application, claimed if hoardings around the pub were moved just 2ft, the walkway could be reopened to the public.

However, Castle Point Council said this is not an option, claiming it could attract undesirable behaviour and pedestrians would feel unsafe using the path.

Mr Brackin said: “I can’t say I am surprised by Castle Point Council’s reaction. It seems it will do what pleases it regardless of what the community wants, which is wrong because it is there to follow what people want, not dictate to them.”