Footpath ‘protected’ from Bowling Alley

A picturesque footpath has been officially adopted by the town hall – protecting it from developers for the benefit of walkers.

East Devon District Council has given permission for the town hall to adopt Madeira Walk from Carlton Hill to Maer Road.

It follows concerns raised by town, district and county councillors Eileen Wragg and Brenda Taylor last year following complaints by residents.

Harlequins Leisure, which is attempting to build a bowling alley, encroached on to the footpath at the foot of Gunfield Gardens, leaving that part inaccessible for several years.

Madeira Walk exists as an amenity path on predominantly public open space owned by EDDC and has been used by the public for decades. Now, the application, under S30 of the Highways Act 1980, effectively protects the public’s right to use the footpath and protects it from any possible encroachment from the bowling alley.

Cllr Wragg said: “There has been much public concern that the path would be closed following ‘temporary’ closure, due to the works at the new bowling centre. I am delighted its use is now secured in perpetuity for local people and visitors. It is highly valued and has been used by generations of local families.

“I remember my grandfather watching bowling at Madeira Bowling Club from there. We used to walk to the Maer for picnics. It is a very important part of Exmouth’s history.”