Consultation on closure of river footpath

By Farnham Herald in Community News

ELSTEAD Parish Council and Surrey County Council have invited residents to respond to a consultation on the closure of footpath 64, which runs along the River Wey opposite The Mill pub.

The section of the path in question has been closed for three years due to erosion caused by the movement of the river. Surrey County Council has proposed diverting this stretch of the path inland.

However, the parish council would prefer the walkway to remain alongside the river and feel the path is still navigable once some of the vegetation has been cut back.

At a parish council meeting on July 17, the council discussed the closure further and in its formal response to the consultation said “all councillors agreed that the footpath should be opened as soon as practicable”.

The council added its members do not accept that the route is dangerous as a result of the erosion of the river bank. Although the footpath is closed it is still being widely used with no reported injuries.

“It is, however, becoming severely overgrown owning to the lack of maintenance since its closure.”

The parish council has also rejected an alternative plan to divert the riverside path to link with the parallel path running alongside Potshot Manor. The council believes this is a much less attractive route and would deprive the public of the scenic views of the River Wey currently provided by the north-western section of FP64.

“The council accordingly asks the county council to consider reopening the footpath and to undertake the necessary maintenance works to render it accessible to the general public,” Elstead Parish Council said in its response.

“In summary the proposed diversion is not necessary and will deprive the public of the use of an attractive riverside stretch of footpath which has always been and still is (in spite of its’ closure) very popular.”

Residents are invited to respond to the consultation by writing to Joanne Porter, Surrey County Council, Whitebeam Lodge, Merrow Depot, Merrow Lane, Guildford, GU4 7BQ. Alternatively, call 020 8541 9576 or email joanne.porter@surreycc.gov.uk.

The consultation closes on August 21, 2017.

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