I learnt today that Surrey’s Countryside Officer has received formal notice of objection to the Broadwater Path from St George’s School on grounds of safeguarding.
I know that many people will be disappointed at this turn of events, especially given that St George’s School already has a public footpath passing through its grounds.
I trust that the matter can be resolved quickly as it was expected that the construction of the path could begin this spring. This path, walked by many, including me, for several decades, was awarded £110,000 by Elmbridge to enable people with disabilities to progress from Weybridge to Cowey Sale with ramped bridges over the Broadwater and Engine Rivers.
This would only be the first stage because once the path was in place it would open up the possibility of public funding for essential maintenance of the lake, which is pressingly needed.
I have contacted Surrey countryside access team. They tell me that they have met up with the health club which is the main landowner, and a plan has been agreed. Surrey intend to clear the path alongside Broadwater, which will then help the health club establish which route they are agreeing to dedicate. Once all the legal dedication agreements have been put in place we can start with the surfacing. It is likely to take about six to twelve months.
I have asked for a plan of the route at the eastern end to ensure all path route are protected (black to Oatlands Drive – red to Thames Path and Green to Cowey Sale). If you want to be part of a team to register all the bridleways and footpath in the town then please contact me.
Movement is slow but there is movement. Surrey says that it has drawn up the proposed route from Grenside Road to Cowey Sale and has had a meeting with Weybridge health club about the section of the pathway crossing their land. The health club has shown that Argent Estates own a section of the path.
Surrey estimates that the timescale is:
By the end of April – establish contact with Argent Estates who own a section of the proposed path as they will have to dedicate a section of path across their land to make the scheme work.
By the end of May/June- draw up a draft dedication, get everyone to agree to it and seek Environment Agency consent for works.
By the end of June/July – finish off dedication of the pathway and start works on the ground, but this will also be dependent on budget.
Many of you will know that I think Walton Lane – the ancient way to Walton from Weybridge before Oatlands Drive was built – should be stopped up for motorised vehicles on the border between Weybridge and Shepperton (Yes Cowey Sale is in Shepperton despite being south of the river) – the benefits to people living in the north of Weybridge would be dramatic. Have a look at a view of how Cowey Sale could look too.
There has been good progress and it is now possible to walk most of the route. There is some clearance work needed on the western end which the borough is carrying out with its own team. This should be completed by the Spring. Phase two involves the county dedicating the path whereby it is officially recorded as a public right of way. Once this is done the county will erect the official permanent footpath signs. More …