Plans to build a new cycle route between Berrow and Burnham-On-Sea have been given the formal go-ahead this week.
As Burnham-On-Sea.com first reported in March, the extension to the Brean Way cycle path will see a new path introduced for pedestrians and cyclists between Unity Farm and the Co-op in Berrow Road, including along Coast Road.
Sedgemoor District Council has this week granted approval for the planning application from Greenways and Cycleroutes Limited.
While the decision is a key milestone for the group, it still needs to get approvals from landowners along the route.
Businesses in Burnham and Berrow hope the extended route will attract more cyclists into the area.
“We welcome the proposed extension of the cycle route,” said a Burnham Chamber of Trade spokesperson this week. “It will encourage more visitors into our area as an additional attraction, leading to more holidaymakers from Brean and Berrow visiting Burnham and supporting businesses.”
The decision comes a year after the opening of the first section of the Brean Way cycle path between Weston and Brean.
Greenways and Cycleroutes said: “The project will reconstruct and repair the existing right of way to complete and overall route from Unity Farm to the Co-op in Berrow Road.”
“There has long been a demand for a traffic free route over this section of busy road.”
“Berrow Parish Council have sought to create a path beside the Coast Road for over 20 years.”
“The 750m section between Hurn Lane and Berrow Church has no footway on either side, making this section of road all but impassable in high season.”
“In addition, the Coast Road is not particularly wide so equally there is no safe place for cyclists, particularly families and holidaymakers.”
“Greenways and Cycleroutes worked with the local councils and landowners to open up the Brean Down Way from Weston-Super-Mare to Brean. Following this, local Councillors encouraged us to consider extending further south to connect to Berrow and Burnham-On-Sea.”
“The opportunities for making a good quality and attractive route along this corridor are very limited. One can walk along the beach, and even cycle, but there are no continuous public rights of way running north or south, although there are 7 or 8 public paths running through to the beach.”
“The open land between the main roads is owned by just four parties, Unity Farm, Sedgemoor District Council at Berrow Dunes, Berrow Parish Council and the Burnham and Berrow Golf Club. A successful route utterly depends upon the support and goodwill of these local landowners.”
This week’s decision comes after 30 people attended a recent consultation event in Berrow to see the plans where they gave mixed feedback on the scheme, as we reported here.
The map above shows the proposed route and work that’s needed: 1 Unity Farm section; 2. Through Berrow Dunes Nature Reserve to their car park to avoid narrow footway on road past Roughlands; 3. Clear back and widen existing footway as far as Hurn Lane; 4. New path alongside ditch on the boundary of the golf course; 5. Pick up old road past Berrow Church; 6. Rebuild existing track past Recreation Ground
Pictured: Land on the route of the proposed cycle path through Berrow