A council has made sure locals can walk ‘safely’ on a footpath by a £1.25 million mansion owned by wealthy landowner Henry Pelly.

The ‘100-year-old’ footpath has been re-opened after a furious Mr Pelly lost a desperate two-year-long-plus battle to keep it shut at Bratton.

Cash-strapped Wiltshire Council has rubbed salt in the wounds by building a new bridge and has also meticulously cleared the almost half-mile long footpath of mud.

Mr Pelly caused uproar when he shut the footpath after buying Luccombe Mill.

It meant Henry – cousin of Prince Harry’s best friend Guy – had stopped locals walking the footpath which they had done ‘for 100 years’.

Wiltshire Council said: ”It is now safe for people to walk along it. We built the bridge and removed all the mud.”

Local resident Katherine Beaumont, 72, – who led the battle to re-open the footpath – said: ”The footpath is now completely clear – the new bridge has been built.”

“I am very very pleased for everyone, and that future generations can continue to walk it. It is part of our history.”

After an astonishing ‘David v Goliath battle’ waged by 81 people, a planning inspector told Mr Pelly it was a public footpath and must be re-opened.

After he shut the path, Wiltshire Council made a legal order recognising it as a footpath after receiving representations from 81 locals.

Mr Pelly objected, but after a three-day public inquiry, a planning inspector ruled it is a public footpath and must be re-opened.

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