2:40pm Friday 21st May 2010
WALKERS can use a footpath around the Isle of Man holiday home of Top Gear star Jeremy Clarkson, a public inquiry has ruled.
The BBC motor show presenter, who has 28 days to object to the ruling, closed off a section of the coastal path near his lighthouse property to protect his privacy.
He complained that some ramblers were peering into his kitchen window and taking photographs.
His decision to prevent access on part of the path along the Langness peninsula in 2005 provoked immediate opposition from pressure group Public Rights Of Way Langness (Prowl) and a public inquiry was ordered.
Prowl argued that walkers had followed the route for generations and it met legal requirements that it was used by the public without interruption for at least 21 years.
Lawyers for Clarkson countered there were no rights of access and that walkers had only been allowed by permission of the landowner.
Clarkson's wife, Frances, told the inquiry that a small number of walkers were also abusive towards their family because of her husband's public profile.
She reportedly said they would sell their luxury hideaway home if the inquiry ruled in favour of the access campaigners.
In his report to the Isle of Man government, transport minister David Anderson agreed with a recommendation from inquiry inspector Roy Hickey that all of the paths on Langness, apart from five, should be dedicated as public rights of way.
The new rights of way do not include a concrete path near the lighthouse perimeter wall where the Clarksons said people were taking photographs.
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