Plans for a new cycle path between Berrow and Burnham-On-Sea have been dealt a setback amid a long-running land dispute.
As Burnham-On-Sea.com first reported here last week, planning officers at Sedgemoor District Council approved the proposals for a £229,000 extension to the cycle route.
But while the planning decision was a key milestone for Greenways and Cycle Routes Limited, we reported last week that it still needs to get approvals from landowners along the route.
John Grimshaw, from Greenways and Cycle Routes, has said this week that Burnham and Berrow Golf Club is not willing to give up land.
“Work can’t begin as one of the interested parties is not willing to release their land to us,” Mr Grimshaw confirmed.
“We are very disappointed and shocked that the path can’t go ahead even after the council approval last week. Unfortunately, if we don’t get agreement by the end of July then we will lose our European grant funding and that stops the whole project.”
Burnham and Berrow Golf Club says that it supports the cycle route “in principle” but it would need to redesign seven of its 18 holes on its championship course to accommodate the path. It has held discussions with Greenways and Cycle Routes Limited and local councillors.
In a statement, the golf club says: “Regrettably, after a comprehensive study by professional consultants, the directors have been advised that the current proposal cannot be supported. The reasons relate to the safety of cyclists and others, serious liability issues raised by our insurers and the need to redesign no less than seven of 18 holes on the championship course.”
“This includes protection measures for members of the public. These are disproportionate to the benefits of the proposal and would create long term disruption to the golf course which is ranked in the top echelons of golf courses in the UK and Ireland.”
“The club remains open to exploring further opportunities in creating pedestrian links from Berrow to Burnham and will continue to work with councillors in this regard.”
The decision comes a year after the opening of the first section of the Brean Way cycle path between Weston and Brean.