Saturday, 13 August 2022

Developer closes footpath to school

CHILDREN are having to walk in the road after a footpath on the outskirts of Henley was fenced off by a developer.

Crest Nicholson, which is building 163 new homes at the former Highlands Farm industrial estate off Greys Road, has shut the unofficial access between the western boundary of the site and the neighbouring town green at Gillotts Corner Field.

Deputy Mayor Ken Arlett says pupils at Gillotts School who live on Highlands Lane, the main access road to the site, have used that route to get to school for many years but must now walk along a half-mile stretch of Greys Road.

He said parents were worried because it has no pavements and at times the youngsters must walk in the road where the grass verge becomes narrow.

They say drivers often go too fast and don’t expect to encounter pedestrians.

Councillor Arlett said the town council was working with the developer to have the path re-opened and hoped it would become permanent once the new development had been completed.

He said: “The town hall staff have held a meeting with the company and we’re hoping to hear more about this shortly.

“It would be nice to have something going all the way across the development to Gillotts Corner Field.

“It’s a pity Crest Nicholson didn’t talk to anyone before acting because drivers tend to go quickly along Greys Road and residents are up in arms.

“The people buying those new houses will need pedestrian access so they’ve cut their noses off to spite their faces.”

A spokeswoman for Crest Nicholson said: “We met with residents and local groups to discuss the possibility of making the route available again to the public once localised building works have been

“We plan to enter discussions with the council to look at the possibility of designating the pathway as a formal right of way for the benefit of the local community.

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