A DAIRY farm has been told to rethink proposals to divert a popular public footpath through its land.

There have been problems with footpaths being blocked by buildings and fences around Doughty Farm, Nelson, since 2008.

Early last year, discussions took place between council officers and the farm regarding diverting the footpath, part of the Castercliffe circular walk, away from the buildings.

But between then and the issue being discussed by Nelson councillors last week, three different proposals were submitted for diversions of the path.

Pendle Council had wanted a diversion that went close to the original path.

But bosses at the farm wanted the walk to be diverted on a wide trajectory to avoid a new barn for dairy cows and a new farm house that have been built. Pendle councillor Nadeem Ahmed said: “What we don’t want is to allow a diversion that would require the public to go the long way around.”

Walking groups and ramblers had already raised objections to the planned diversion.

The Burnley and Pendle Ramblers were in favour of diverting the footpath but not to the route proposed by the farm, and they would also want the farm to pay for the reprinting of a leaflet advertising the Castercliffe circ-ular walk.

A member of the Pendle Countryside Access Forum said that the proposed new route was nearly twice as long, and walkers should not be inconvenienced.

Councillors rejected the proposals and the farm will now have to rethink plans for a footpath diversion away from buildings on the land.