Vixen Tor. Photo: Paul Englefield CC-BY-2.0

Vixen Tor. Photo: Paul Englefield [CC-2.0]

Campaigners seeking access to a Dartmoor crag will have to wait a further six months after bad weather hit hearings into the case.

A public inquiry will not now resume into the case until July this year.

Vixen Tor has become a cause célèbre for walkers after the new owner barred public access to the land after she took it over in 2003.

Climbers and walkers claimed there had always been access to the site, and an attempt was made to have the tor declared open access land under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act. However, owner Mary Alford contested the designation and won an appeal against its inclusion as access land.

Protracted negotiations involving the Dartmoor National Park Authority, Ramblers and the British Mountaineering Council to secure access were unsuccessful. Even the efforts of UN commander Colonel Bob Stewart couldn’t resolve the dispute.

But Devon County Council recommended the addition of two footpaths leading to the crag, which Ms Alford again appealed.

The inquiry led by the Planning Inspectorate opened in November last year and ran for three days, but ran out of time to hear all the evidence. A scheduled resumption of the hearing in December had to be cancelled when snow and ice hit the area.

The resumed public inquiry will now take place on 19 and 20 July 2011.

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