Court threat stops road safety scheme
A road safety scheme in Clutton has been put on hold after a row broke out over land ownership.
Bath and North East Somerset Council planned to begin work along Station Road, between The Sidings and Maynard Terrace to improve access for pedestrians in the village this week.
But the scheme has been put on hold after Clutton Parish Council threatened to take High Court action to stop the work being carried out.
The parish council has raised questions over who owns the land as well as whether the scheme is the best option for making pedestrians safer. B&NES has also been accused of not carrying out enough consultation before giving the green light to the scheme.
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Parish council clerk Stephen Barran said the threat was made after his council became frustrated at not getting answers from B&NES.
He added: "Of course we want footways to make the village safer for pedestrians but they do not own the land for the footpath and B&NES was planning to go ahead without consulting. The road priority changes are an ill thought out project which has been discussed endlessly at planning meetings. The last time we were consulted was two years ago and we thought we were waiting for further information. The next thing we knew there was a week's notice about the work going ahead. It has now been put on hold for further discussions."
The scheme was to include the construction of a two- metre wide footway utilising the strip of verge between The Sidings and Greensbrook, which was dedicated for highway use as part of planning permission given back in 2007 for the construction of six homes.
Along Greensbrook up to the junction with Maynard Terrace, a footway was planned while at the junction of Maynard Terrace and Clutton Hill, the priority was due to be modified so that traffic approaching from Clutton Hill gave way to vehicles coming along Station Road and Maynard Terrace.
A spokesman for B&NES said it had never suggested using land that was in third party ownership but confirmed the row had seen the scheme had been temporarily shelved.
Resident Steve Willcox, who represented the village as a B&NES councillor for eight years before losing his seat at the last election, accused the parish council of putting safety at risk because of its objections to a 36-home development on a patch of agricultural land off Maynard Terrace in Clutton.