Fears old footpath will be lost to South Petherton housing development
A South Petherton resident has raised concerns that a new housing development will be built on a 100-year-old footpath which links her house to the village.
Sylvia Griffin, 60, of Pitway, has spoken out after attending a public meeting held in Blake Hall where housing developer Persimmon showed plans to build about 39 new homes on fields behind her house.
Miss Griffin said: “I know that we need more houses, and I have no problem with that, but there seems no good reason to move this lovely path, and the new footpath they could put in its place will coincide with the new road that will be built on the site. A road is not a footpath.”
South Somerset District Council and Somerset County Council have both said they will comment on the issue when a planning application has been made.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
The new development could be built on land by Hospital Way, South Petherton, next to the St Michael’s Gardens housing development, which was built by Persimmon in 2008.
Miss Griffin said she noticed at a public meeting last month that the most recent plans showed new houses on top of the footpath, which runs from Hospital Lane to Lightgate Road.
She said: “The first two sets of plans I had seen left the path intact, but the ones I saw at the latest meeting seem to incorporate the old footpath into a new road.
“The footpath connects the top of the village with the centre.
“The families who live in the four houses next to me have lived in the village for years, and the footpath is their main route into the village.
“This path has been here for well over 100 years. Footpaths are a huge part of this village, they provide continuity and tell the story of the village. When you walk along a path that has been there a long time, you are following in the steps of thousands of people and feet.”
Miss Griffin moved to South Petherton from London eight years ago to look after her mother Doreen when she was left in need of 24-hour care after a stroke.
A further five residents raised similar concerns over the development and the footpath at a recent South Petherton Parish Council meeting.
Somerset County Council confirmed that the issue of moving the public right of way would be considered if a planning application is made.
Carl Haley, managing director for Persimmon Homes Severn Valley, said: “As a leading developer we always follow due process in submitting plans for any new development.
“In the case of South Petherton, we advertised a public consultation for residents to share their concerns with us and have consulted with the local authority. This would have included speaking with the highways department.”