URGENT: New footpath and cyclepath in Ottery – show your support by 24 Dec!

At last, the planning application for the long-awaited footbridge, path and cycleway between the Land of Canaan and the King’s School has been submitted to East Devon District Council. This is very welcome news! Sustainable Ottery has been campaigning for this new path and bridge for several years now – alongside Ottery’s Town Council and many of the town’s residents. All the funding has now been secured, thanks to the combined efforts of our local councillors and a substantial grant from the Lottery (via Sustrans). So we simply cannot let this important project falter at the final hurdle.

The application can be viewed on the East Devon District Council website (10/2341/FUL). To be sure that EDDC planners give this project the green light it deserves, we need supporters to post a supportive comment on the website. We know it’s a busy time of year and we apologise for not giving you more notice. But just a short paragraph or a few words will suffice.

Please go to http://planning.eastdevon.gov.uk/online-applications and in the box, key in application number 10/2341/FUL. Then just click on `Comments’ and leave a supportive comment. The deadline for online comments is 24 Dec 2010. Alternatively, you can send a supportive comment in writing (quoting application no. 10/2341/FUL) to: Planning Department, EDDC, Knowle, Sidmouth, EX10 8HL.

Key points you can raise:

  • The proposed bridge and footpath/cyclepath will create a badly needed link between the centre of town and the west side of Ottery – particularly the hospital, the secondary school, and the Thorne Farm Estate. Up until now, the west has been cut off from the rest of town by a busy main road.

  • It will provide a safe and traffic-free route to and from school for hundreds of Ottery schoolchildren, avoiding the highly dangerous Barrack Rd/Mill St route.

  • It will reduce car journeys in Ottery as more people walk and cycle between the town centre and the west of Ottery – thereby reducing the town’s carbon footprint.

  • It will encourage people to take more exercise and contribute to a healthier community.

  • If possible, please do include a personal comment about how and why this project matters to you.

Thank you in advance for your support. Cross fingers the plans will be approved and construction will begin before the end of March 2011.

Advance notice: We understand the meeting of the relevant EDDC planning committee to decide on the application will take place in the council chamber at Knowle on Tues 11 Jan (at 2pm we think). The meeting is open to the public and we are encouraging those supportive of the project to attend in person. That way, we will send a clear message to district councillors that this is a project local residents really care about, and one which we have waited a long time for and which must go ahead regardless of the current economic climate. So if anyone is free that afternoon, please pencil 11 Jan in your diaries. If the date and time change, we will let everyone know. You can also ring Helen Collinson on tel 01404 814078 or e-mail info@sustainableottery.org.uk if you have any questions.

I’ve just added my comments (Mrs Sharon Pavey & East Devon Green Party)

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