by Adam Brookes on 14 April, 2018
The Planning Inspectorate have confirmed that the public inquiry to consider whether the County Council’s plans to divert the footpath that runs down the side of Tesco and through the new Persimmon estate are acceptable is to take place in August. The County Council’s plan would make Persimmon’s current illegal diversion the new official route. This is opposed by both the Town Council and myself personally.
The inquiry is to be held at the Odd Fellows Hall in Church Street from 10am on Tuesday 21 August and is currently scheduled to last up to two days.
The proposed orders by the County Council attempt to resolve two issues. Firstly, that previous diversions of the footpath by the District Council were not legally valid and so, for example, a footpath exists through the Tesco extension. These changes to correct these previous mistakes are not controversial.
The second issue that the orders attempt to resolve is the illegal obstruction of the footpath by the building of the Persimmon estate which includes houses on the legal route. The County Council seem prepared to simply accept Persimmon’s bodged attempt at diverting this path, which is narrow, has an unnecessary dog-leg which restricts visibility, and has a slope which makes it difficult for some to use.
Persimmon seemed to have been unable to work with Tesco to build the path according to what their own plans indicated which would have provided a wider, easier to navigate path, with clear views along its length.
There is now no perfect solution to resolving this problem but it remains my view that the best option available would be for the footpath to be routed along the driveway adjacent to Tesco, as how Persimmon’s plans showed it would be.
The importance of this footpath was reinforced by the recent planning permission for another 145 homes further along its route in Deeping St James. There is also likely set to be many hundreds more in the area between Tesco and Linchfield Road with the rest of that area highly likely to be allocated for housing development in the District Council’s new local plan.
If we want to reduce the impact of such developments on local roads and create healthier communities we need to promote active travel as an alternative to car use. We need developers and our local authorities to take much stronger action to see that their often warm words turn into real actions that can deliver this.
As we near the inquiry, I will be putting together a detailed explanation to submit to the Planning Inspectorate as to why this new route is not suitable. If anyone can help with this by sharing their thoughts on the problems with this footpath then that would be greatly appreciated. Please get in touch.
More details about the inquiry and the orders can be found in this notice.2 Comments