A POPULAR scenic footpath is to remain after plans to stop it up - creating a 40m gap - have been refused.
The Environment Agency applied to East Lindsey District Council to stop up and create a new footpath at Donna Nook, where they are currently undertaking a managed coastal realignment scheme.
The scheme will create a new inter-tidal wetland habitat to compensate for loss at other parts on the Humber estuary due to coastal squeeze.
The Environment Agency said the proposed work to the footpath from the new Stonebridge car park is a direct consequence of the realignment works.
Now the agency is taking time to consider the implications of the committee's decision on the footpath.
The work at the scheme would have removed a 40 metre wide section of the footpath to create a breach in the flood embankment, leaving a gap. Walkers would then have to retrace their steps and then continue on the new footpath to reach horseshoe point car park.
The agency had dismissed installing a bridge as it could impede the operation of the site as an intertidal habitat.
Louth marsh ward Councillor Robert Palmer told the Target: "The footpath is a wonderful walk which needed to be protected for generations to come.
"What they did not take into account is that there is a pair of very serviceable lock gates which, in my opinion, act as the best sea defence in the area.
"The Lindsey Marsh pumping station controls the water from the river Eau, which controls the silt levels for this area and is extremely important.
"By leaving the lock gates in, we will still have a flow of water going out."
Joan Page, chairman of North Somercotes Parish Council, said there were serious safety concerns about the gap which would have been left.
"She said: "If anyone tried to get down there, it would have left a large drop and would have created problems for the coast guard. Also it would have left a footpath which leads to no where. The parish council is very pleased with the committee's decision. At our parish meeting, we had people who said they did not want to lose the footpath. From the new footpath, you would not have been able to see the sea."
A spokesman from the Environment Agency said the agency is disappointed with the decision of the committee.
They said: "We will now take some time to fully consider the local and wider implications of this decision before moving forward."