Residents say no way to greenway plan

A GROUP of Battle residents have voiced their objections to proposals for a new cycle route between the town’s schools.

The team behind the Battle Schools Greenway Project wants to create a level route for cyclists and walkers from Abbey Green to Claverham Community College, with access to many other places, including Battle and Langton Primary School.

But the proposals have not gone down well with residents of Hampden Close, who recently received a leaflet about the proposed project.

A number of residents voiced their concerns at Tuesday night’s Battle Town Council meeting.

John Townsend, who has lived in Hampden Close for 27 years, said residents were concerned about alterations to public right of ways and the potential removal of verges.

He said: “We strongly object to this. Hampden Close is a quiet cul-de-sac consisting of well-maintained bungalows, gardens, attractive cut verges and driveways.

“Does the law allow roads to be reduced in width?”

Mr Townsend expressed concerns for the safety of cyclists and pedestrians at peak times when the close is clogged with traffic.

He added that no estimate of costs had been provided and expressed concerns that construction work could damage the environment.

Mr Townsend said: “We realise these decisions have been taken in principle, but people reading this leaflet think it is ‘fait accompli’, approved by Battle Town Council, the NHS and the local MP.

“People are being misled.”

Robert Gee, who lives in Tollgates, said the greenway was the biggest thing to happen to Battle in many years.

He said: “I will fight this right to the end to stop this because this is sacrilege to Battle.”

Battle Town Council pointed out the greenway was not a council project and although councillors had agreed with the idea in principle, no concrete plans had been put forward by the greenway group.

Cllr Richard Jessop said: “This greenway project is designed to help get children safely from the Battle Abbey area to Claverham Community College and Battle and Langton. The principle of that has been agreed by the council.

“We have not seen any definitive route. We have seen no evidence of discussion with adjoining landowners.”

Cllr Marie-Louise Neill said: “At the moment it is merely an idea.

“I think it is very interesting they have put forward a document to encourage comment.”

Council chairman Richard Bye said: “At this stage we will note your comments. We cannot do any more than that.”