Meeting to discuss cycle path

PUBLISHED: 11:00 06 July 2015

Archant

Budleigh Salterton residents facing the prospect of a cycle track being built behind their homes are hopeful their concerns will be listened to after planners agreed to meet them

The proposal to upgrade a path to allow cycling to the east of Granary Lane has been suggested by landowner Clinton Devon Estates (CDE) and the Environment Agency, which are working together on the Lower Otter Restoration Project, which suggests reintroducing tidal flooding to the Otter to prevent flooding of homes and businesses.

Residents said they were shocked to only find out about the proposals in May, with concerns about noise from cyclists, and the risk of tree branches from their properties falling on the path.

At the time, CDE said the plans were at ‘the earliest stage’, and it has now set a date for this week to hear their views.

Resident David Butler said: “There is a meeting scheduled to identify concerns, which is good. We will see what happens. If CDE does what it says, then it has actually done something it wasn’t planning to do, which is engage with Granary Lane residents.

“My major objection was CDE had not identified the residents as someone with whom it should hold specific talks, so now CDE is doing that, I think it’s fine.

“There is a broad spectrum of residents in Granary Lane. Some people think all change is bad, but CDE and other authorities are trying to deal with a problem.”

David said that while some cyclists were in favour of a cycle path, some residents had concerns about the noise.

He added: “People have got quite genuine and reasonable questions to put to the project team.”

Mike Williams, from the Lower Otter Restoration Project, said: “This project is still in its very early stages and no details are yet finalised.

“Working in partnership with the Environment Agency, we have invited householders from Granary Lane to a meeting next week, focusing on their particular needs as we discuss the future of the Lower Otter Valley.

“In particular, we want to understand what problems they encounter as well as what’s special to them and listen to their ideas and feedback on the long-term management of the estuary.

“This is one of a series of consultation events that will help Clinton Devon Estates and the Environment Agency produce long-term proposals for how the Otter Estuary can be more sustainably managed in ways which benefit both people and wildlife.”

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