The owners of the land across which the Wallbridge Adderwell path runs have proposed an aternative to the existing route for which a Right of Way application is pending.
In return for agreeing to re-route a section of the path behind their proposed development (yellow dotted line) they would allow Frome Town Council to acquire seven acres of the the water meadow and adjacent woodland as a new public open space for Frome.
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Sutton Family Solutions, the developers of the site off the Retreat, have suggested Frome Town Council could acquire a new 5-acre patch of riverside land in return for Friends of River Frome withdrawing the Right of Way application and re-routing of the riverside footpath behind the development.
This would include the whole of the water meadow and part of the scrubland (old allotments) up to the railway enbankment. We are keen to hear your views.
Following the Mendip Planning Board meeting (17 Feb) which expressed concern about the potential loss of the Wallbridge Adderwell Path, the landowners (the Sutton family) have partially removed the barrier at the Retreat end of the path. A new notice says “Private Property: Landowner permission granted for foot traffic only”. This is most welcome news for the many walkers who enjoy this path.
The barriers at the Adderwell end of the path remain (although they do not prevent access). Frome Town Council are requesting a meeting with the owners to discuss the Public Right of Way claim.
The controversial planning application which would lead to the loss of the riverside path was deferred last night by Mendip Planning Board until the applicants, Family Sutton Solutions, obtain retrospective planning permission for the unauthorized demolition of a barn. This demolition infringes an earlier planning condition. The have also damaged a neighbor’s property and bulldozed the fragile wetland area, but these issues were not part of the decision.
During the two-hour discussion many members of the Planning Board expressed concerns about the potential loss of the path and the fact that FSS had obstructed it. Several Councillors suggested imposing additional planning conditions to require the path , but in the event these were not necessary since the application was deferred.
This does not resolve the issue of the path, but it sends a powerful signal to FSS of the strength of local opposition to their attempt to privatise the riverbank. They must now realise that their existing plans are unlikely to receive approval without conceding that the access to the river is a crucial planning issue in this case.
A new illustration shows the path and the development superimposed on an aerial photograph shows that the path does affect the development
The gardens of the new houses are not allowed to extend all the way to the river and are shown several metres back (red line above). Families with children will want to have a fence at the bottom of their garden for safety reasons, especially since the river floods in this area.
We see no reason why the existing route of the path should not be retained between gardens and the river.
A new video shows growing support for the campaign to establish the Wallbridge Adderwell Path formally and calls on Mendip Planning Board to make this a condition of planing approval for the new development nearby.