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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 July, 2003, 12:16 GMT 13:16 UK
Madonna wins privacy battle
Madonna with daughter Lourdes
Madonna and daughter Lourdes can now enjoy the privacy of their home
Singer and actress Madonna has won a battle to stop ramblers going near her Wiltshire mansion.

It has been confirmed that land at her house near Salisbury would not be classified as open countryside under the Right to Roam legislation.

Madonna and her film director husband, Guy Ritchie, expressed fears that walkers would be able to peer into their 9m home, Ashcombe House, near Cranborne Chase.

The American-born performer had said she wanted to protect her family's privacy and was concerned open access would allow anyone to approach her front door.

The pair had personally written to Tony Blair expressing their concerns over the legislation which would have opened up a footpath 100 yards from the Grade II-listed 18th Century mansion.

Attempted burglary

A spokesperson for the Countryside Agency, said although the maps had now been altered to suit the singer's needs, this was not unusual.

"We went to a public consultation process over a three-month period after using the data available - marked on maps - to see where we thought the land matched the legislative requirements.

"There was no court battle in this instance, we just accepted their arguments about the proximity to a public dwelling," she said.

Madonna has fought to keep her privacy, partner and two young children at the mansion - the former home of the late photographer Cecil Beaton.

She has complained about low-flying aircraft, suffered an attempted burglary and was ordered to take down new 12ft-high security gates after neglecting to apply for planning permission.

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