D-day for £1million Ottery footbridge shceme

PUBLISHED: 11:32 09 January 2011 | UPDATED: 13:52 09 January 2011

OTTERY is on the verge of being handed a long-awaited £1million link to boost pedestrians and cyclists- despite a bid by some concerned residents to de-rail the project.

OTTERY is on the verge of being handed a long-awaited £1million link to boost pedestrians and cyclists - despite a bid by some concerned residents to de-rail the project.

The fate of a footbridge and cycle path, connecting the Land of Canaan to the Thorne Farm Estate, will be decided when planning chiefs discuss the bid on Tuesday.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) experts have recommended the project, 15 years in the making, for approval.

The move comes in the face of objections from some Thorne Farm Way residents who fear the route will “encourage unacceptable numbers of people” to walk and cycle along a cul-de-sac.

Concerns over anti-social behaviour and vandals targeting the bridge have also been voiced.

The bid’s cost of nearly £1million was branded “totally irresponsible” by one protester.

However, public support expressed to EDDC for the footbridge and cycle path outweighs objections by three to one.

Backers claim the scheme will offer a safe and less congested route between two ends of the town, especially for school children.

It is hoped it will help reduce the Ottery’s carbon footprint and encourage residents to walk into town and use local businesses.

In a report to EDDC’s development management committee, a planning officer writes: “It is considered the proposal would not be harmful to the area and its immediate setting…The creation of the proposed route would provide a safer alternative between the eastern and western parts of Ottery and is, therefore, likely to be an asset to the town.”

Mayor Glyn Dobson is behind the bid and said: “It will be fantastic news for the town.”


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