Falmouth Swans Reach footpath given go ahead

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By Em_Williams | Thursday, December 06, 2012, 21:48

Residents living in the Goldenbank area of Falmouth will soon have a safer route to Swanpool after a public inquiry ruled in favour of creating a new footpath. The ruling follows an inquiry held by the Planning Inspectorate into a decision by Cornwall Council to create a footpath linking Swans Reach to Swanpool.

With local residents, and local Cornwall Councillor Mike Varney, campaigning for many years for to create the footpath along a private road, the Council's Modification Order Panel approved plans in May 2011. However, the decision was taken to a public inquiry after objections were raised.

Ruling in favour of the footpath, the Planning Inspectorate report read: "Access on foot from Swans Reach to both the town centre and to a range of community facilities is seriously inadequate and there is proven demand from local residents for improvements that would be safer and more convenient."

"I am absolutely delighted," said Councillor Mike Varney, Cornwall Council Local Member for Boslowick. "I would like to thank the Modification Order Panel and the Council for following through plans which have taken the best part of ten years to bring to fruition. The way everyone has conducted themselves at the public inquiry was first class. The residents who attended in support were brilliant and put across their case very concisely and professionally.

"I respect the concerns of the objectors, but, as the inspector found, the benefits to so many people far outweighs these concerns. We are a green Cornwall and we look to improve the wellbeing of people – the safer route that the footpath will provide will encourage more people out of their cars. When the footpath is created, I would ask those from both sides to respect one another."

Concerns over the safety of pedestrians walking between Goldenbank and Swanpool led local resident Roger Angliss to draw up a petition to encourage the local authorities to take action. He also set up a Facebook group called 'Help support the opening of Swans Reach Footpath'.

Mr Angliss said: "I became involved three and a half years ago after my youngest son was nearly hit by a car on Swanpool Road. The route from Goldenbank Estate to Swanpool via the road has no footpath and a number of blind bends, which make it extremely hazardous for walkers. When I started up the petition, I didn't realise just how many people were as concerned as I was, the vast majority of people I spoke to were in favour of the footpath opening."

Cornwall Council will now carry out works to create the new footpath which it is believed will be open by 21 December.

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