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Raft of complaints after popular Milford footpath closed in 'error'

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A POPULAR footpath in Milford has been reopened by to the public after a short closure prompted dozens of complaints.

The permissive route, which runs between New Lane and Hurst Spit, was shut to the public by landowners RoyaleLife last Monday.

Signage was erected stating: "Private property. Strictly no access", and gateways at either end were boarded up.

The path between New Lane and Hurst Spit was closed "in error" for a day
The path between New Lane and Hurst Spit was closed "in error" for a day

The closure of the path, which is popular with dog walkers and bungalow owners at Solent Grange, soon prompted complaints to the parish council and angry reaction on social media.

One resident wrote: “Royale have spent the last five years getting involved with local groups/fundraising etc, trying to prove they are not the bad guys. This one action says otherwise and is a PR disaster for them.”

Another added: “Came across this this evening. Sadly, my dog wasn't impressed.

"Closing the byway bit by river goes to show that they have no idea about local flooding which is the reason the river path was there. Shame on you, Royale.”

Milford parish clerk Graham Wells confirmed that complaints had also been received at the parish office, and the authority had been in touch with New Forest District Council to check the footpath's designation.

However, following representations from residents of Solent Grange, the footpath was reopened to the public the following day.

A spokesperson for RoyaleLife said: “We were alerted to an error which led to the temporary closure of the footpath by Solent Grange.

“As soon as the mistake was flagged, we immediately reopened the path and informed the Solent Grange Residents’ Association who were satisfied with our swift response. There are no further plans to close the path.”

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