Greenway plan discussion at open meeting

AROUND 40 people attended an open meeting to discuss plans for the Battle Schools Greenway.

The purpose of the meeting, which was organised by the Battle Schools Greenway (BSG) Steering Group, was to give residents more detailed information about the proposed BSG, and to give people the chance to raise questions and air their views about the project.

The proposed scheme aims to create a traffic-free route suitable for all from Battle Abbey to Claverham Community College.

Members of the Steering Group addressed the meeting first.

Sue Burton, chair of 1066 Cycle Club, explained how the BSG proposal had evolved and talked about the support that the project had already received.

She described some of the potential benefits to be gained from having a traffic-free route through the heart of Battle.

This was followed by Bev Marks, chair of Battle Ramblers, who set out the many technical stages that the project would have to go through if it were to become a reality.

Jo Reeves, chairing the meeting, invited the local people present to make comments or ask questions.

A number of those present acknowledged the difficulties that exist for people with mobility difficulties and those who use push chairs when trying to get around town.

However, residents from Hampden Close objected strongly to the proposed route.

One specific concern related to a potential worsening of congestion in the cul-de-sac, which, residents argued, is already seeing an increased number of parked cars.

It is believed that this could be due to the new yellow lines on North Trade Road and elsewhere.

Residents expressed concern that a Greenway would radically alter the ambience of the street where they live.

Sue Edwards, chair of the Asten Fields Residents Association, said,: “It’s a cracking idea in principle – but the proposed route needs re-thinking.

“The current proposal does not have our support.”

Councillor Kathryn Field, a member of the Steering Group, said: “Perhaps we can agree that this proposal represents a starting point from which the idea of a Greenway can be developed, taking account of local views.”

Jo Reeves sought to reassure those present that the Steering Group was keen to consult with local people and to hear their views.

She said: “This open meeting is part of our process of consultation with residents and local organisations.

“We are very willing to consider alternatives and to work with all stakeholders for the best solution.”

People attending the meeting were invited to complete a feedback form and to return it to the Steering Group c/o Battle Town Council, The Almonry, High Street, Battle TN33 0EA.