Residents fight 'missing link' footpath decision

Residents fight 'missing link' footpath decision

Reporter:

James Preston

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Residents fight 'missing link' footpath decision

A warning that the battle is only just beginning has been issued by residents opposing proposals to create a 30m footpath by Bridge Gardens in Ray Mead Road, Maidenhead.

 

The Bridge View Action Group

 

The Royal Borough is looking to press ahead with building a riverside path along private land to fill a 'missing link' in the Thames Path, but householders at the site have formed an action group and are preparing a public campaign to fight the decision.

They are aiming to convince councillors, and the public, that the £350,000 due to be set aside to pay for the project will not be enough to compensate them and the money will be better spent elsewhere.

"It's barely started and the fun is only just beginning," said Mike Landers, an owner of a first-floor flat at the site.

"We are going to prove that budget is nowhere near enough to do the job."

The 53-year-old said he believes the council will need to stump up more than £2m, but added: "We don't want compensation, we want to be left in peace."

The group is preparing to push its message ahead of a cabinet decision on whether to allocate the funds on March 27.

A leaflet campaign is also being planned to ask members of the public whether they feel the project is worth it.

But the chairman of East Berkshire Ramblers, David Bailey, which has long fought for the path to be extended across the land, said the project has the public's backing.

He said: "There's a strong feeling within the borough for it, but I'm sure there will be people who take the view that the money could be better spent.

"Our feeling has always been that it is a national trail and is the most used national trail within the whole UK and therefore we are speaking for the population."

Cllr John Stretton, chairman of the borough's rights of way panel, said the £350,000 figure had been decided on following 'extensive research' by borough officers.

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