Published: January 23, 2014
£80,000 secured for new Coast Road footpath is thrown into jeopardy

A group of campaigners fighting for a new footpath along Berrow's Coast Road have been handed an £80,000 windfall to take the project forward - but the cash is in jeopardy of being lost unless they can get the support of the landowner.

Burnham and Berrow Golf Club owns the land running alongside Coast Road where the long-awaited footpath would be built.

While campaigners say the golf club said it was initially happy with the plans for a path, it appears to have had a change of heart.

Andrea Johnson, who is leading the campaign for a path, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "The club has written to us to say the path cannot be built on its land."

"This is incredibly frustrating for us. We've worked very hard for many years to secure this funding for the new path to increase safety for pedestrians."

"We're thrilled to have been awarded £80,000 from the 'Paths For Communities Fund' run by the EU and UK Government in conjunction with Natural England."

"Now, however, we have been told by Burnham and Berrow Golf Club that it has removed its consent for us to use its land which has thrown the whole project into doubt because the money has to be spent by the end of February or it will be lost altogether."

"The golf club has sent us a letter over the last few days stating that they are not happy because the path would interfere with play on the course."

"We feel it wouldn't. All we are asking for is a strip of 4.5m wide land running along Coast Road from the edge of the ditch. We've offered to plant some trees and bushes to thicken up the undergrowth where the path would run close to tees."

"The golf club also tells us that the path would have liability issues even though they already have walkers wandering over fairways which is clearly far more dangerous!"

"The club also says that our proposed path would not be 'substantial enough' even though the County Council has said it's happy with our design and no issues have been raised during the consultation on our planning application."

"It is really embarrassing and annoying that that this happening and will prevent this long-awaited path being built. This is a wonderful opportunity to finally increase safety along this stretch of Coast Road for villagers and holidaymakers, but it looks as though it is all the money will be squandered."

"This has upset me so much that I cried when I opened the club's letter. The community has been badly let down after so much years of effort by villagers to secure this hard-to-come-by funding. An opportunity like this may not return again."

Andrea has written to the golf club inviting them to reconsider their position.

Coast Road is used by many pedestrians over the summer months. There is currently no footpath for a long stretch of it, which forces people to walk in the road.

Several accidents have occurred along Coast Road in recent years, including a two-car crash in 2012, reported here, a cyclist being hurt in 2008 here, and a 2010 accident here where a bus stop was demolished by a car.

Pictured: Campaign marches through Berrow calling for the footpath

 


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