A BLOCKED river walk has finally been opened after years of pressure from angry residents .

Sible Hedingham’s riverside path is popular with walkers.

But ramblers have been frustrated because part of the route has not been accessible.

The blocked path was a result of fencing initially put up to separate a development replacing the former Premdor Factory with hundreds of new homes from an area of public open space east of Summerfield’s.

Developer Bloor Homes has provided a path which has resulted in an extension to the river walk and Braintree Council has now removed the metal railings so a bridge that was built five years ago can now be used.

A council spokesman said: “We have removed the length of fence to allow people to walk through, as local residents were frustrated that they could not walk through.

“Now we have removed the fence, people can walk over the grass in the open space to get between the river walk and the new path in the Premdor site.”

The move has been welcomed by villagers.

Hedingham councillor Hylton Johnson said he has been lobbying for the blocked path to be reopened for many years.

He led a walking group from the village on a three-hour stroll along the newly cleared route earlier this week.

Mr Johnson said: “It was with great excitement and great happiness when we walked through – it is very much a celebratory moment.

“People are really happy about it and it will also appeal to people who come from outside the village because the last obstacle on the riverside walk has now been removed.

“We have worked hard for this day and have been campaigning for it for many years and the walk can now be enjoyed by all.

“All systems are now go!”