Thursday, 20 February 2020

New resin and chips surface for bridleway

RESIDENTS have expressed mixed views about plans to lay a new surface on part of a bridleway in Henley.

Some say the path off Peppard Lane will lose its rural character if the flexible porous surface is put down.

They also say it is unnecessary because it is adjacent to Blandy Road, which already serves as an alternative route to Greys Road.

The new surface will be applied on Monday on behalf of Crest Nicholson, which is building 163 homes at the former Highlands Farm industrial estate, off Greys Road.

It wants to improve the residents’ access to the town and encourage them to walk or cycle rather than drive.

The proposed surface looks like gravel and is made from resin bounded with stone chips. It will follow the contours of the path and is porous so that the rain can seep through. It is laid so that the roots of trees are not affected.

Crest Nicholson wanted to lay asphalt last year but scrapped the idea following complaints that it was unsuitable in a rural location.

Pam Syrett, 81, of Makins Road, said the new surface was still unsuitable.

She said: “I’m very concerned about it because it’s making everything suburban. It was very beautiful. Now it’s going to be spoilt because it’s not going to be natural and the wildlife area is going to suffer.

“There used to be a lot of hedgehogs around here but there aren’t any more. Many, many years ago there were snakes, bats, all sorts of things, and lots of birds but it has not been looked after. There’s no consideration for the wildlife in this area.

“I’m annoyed because we have had no time to protest. Everybody has been told it’s fine and it’s going to be a lot better than it was.”

Brian George, 81, of Blandy Road, said: “I think it’s a waste of money which could have been put to better use than a bridlepath.

“If anybody wants to avoid walking along the bridleway when it’s muddy they can walk down Makins or Blandy Road, which takes them to the same place.”

Susan Beswick, 75, who also lives in Blandy Road, said: “I’m open-minded. It will perhaps spoil the rural environment but, having said that, after a few leaves come down perhaps it won’t be too bad. It’s very muddy at the moment so it will help that. I’m not sure that people from Highlands Farm will use it at all. They are quite a long way out of town.”

John Smith, 87, also of Blandy Road, said: “I’m quite happy to see this done. It’s good for dog walking and the kids going to school.”

Trevor Howell, of Blandy Road, said: “Over time it will get covered in leaves and will be camouflaged.”

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