Residents ‘jeered’ at meeting to discuss closure of Druitt Gardens footpath

Bournemouth Echo: FOOTPATH: Christchurch residents protesting FOOTPATH: Christchurch residents protesting

CHRISTCHURCH residents upset over the temporary closure of a public footpath jeered as council officers defended the decision.

The path, which leads through Druitt Gardens, has frustrated those who unsuccessfully campaigned against a compound being placed nearby earlier this year.

It has closed the access from Wick Lane car park as the result of ongoing work to build a retirement complex on the Cornfactor site following approval from the council in 2013.

But some councillors say that the closure – undertaken on the grounds of health and safety – is unnecessary as contractors are failing to use the closed area as they agreed to do with the council.

Councillor Colin Bungey said at the town’s community services committee meeting: “Developers and contractors are flouting the conditions and we have put up with the impunity and do nothing about it.”

When the footpath was first closed, Neil Farmer, strategic director at Christchurch Borough Council, said: “Arrangements have been made to alter the vehicle access into the gardens through the double gates, but the compound in the car park needs to block the upper pedestrian access to the gardens to allow for welfare and storage facilities for contractor staff as also agreed by the committee. We have looked into the alternatives but, from a health and safety point of view, the work requires this to happen.”

Cllr Bernie Davies said: “The safety of the public is of paramount importance and I had no hesitation in acceding to the officers’ request [to close the footpath temporarily].”

A petition for the footpath to be reopened was given to the council in February.

It reads: “We the undersigned deplore the closure of the path from Wick Lane car park to Druitt Gardens, which appears to be unnecessary for the construction on the Cornfactor site”, and continues: “We ask Christchurch Borough Council to instruct Renaissance Retirement Ltd, the developer of the Cornfactor site, to move the fencing surrounding their compound which is blocking the public access to the Wick Lane car park.”

Councillors voted to uphold the officers’ recommendation to note the content of the petition and confirm the requirement for the closure of pedestrian access to the gardens during the development of the Cornfactor site.

Comments (7)

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1:41pm Thu 8 May 14

twynham says...

Did the Health and Safety Executive recommend this or is it yet another example of a council using H & S as an excuse for their own incompetence?
Did the Health and Safety Executive recommend this or is it yet another example of a council using H & S as an excuse for their own incompetence? twynham
  • Score: 15

2:43pm Thu 8 May 14

Sir Beachy Head says...

Jeered ?????

Don't expect to win. Withhold your council tax at the very least. Riot if that fails.
Jeered ????? Don't expect to win. Withhold your council tax at the very least. Riot if that fails. Sir Beachy Head
  • Score: 8

4:29pm Thu 8 May 14

Nanais43 says...

I'm afraid I don't trust Christchurch Council. The path should be reopened at once - it's an inconvenience to locals and tourists won't see the gardens at their best.
I'm afraid I don't trust Christchurch Council. The path should be reopened at once - it's an inconvenience to locals and tourists won't see the gardens at their best. Nanais43
  • Score: 10

5:21pm Thu 8 May 14

skydriver says...

I would not have expected anymore from this council, they are NOT working for the towns folk at all, they are there for themselves, a little power goes a long way, or so they think! Just wait until they want us to vote for them next time round with all their broken promises , I guess they have little or no chance of getting much support from the people of this town, especially with their catalogue of destruction of OUR town.
So the leader and his gang of chums take note. ,!!!!
I would not have expected anymore from this council, they are NOT working for the towns folk at all, they are there for themselves, a little power goes a long way, or so they think! Just wait until they want us to vote for them next time round with all their broken promises , I guess they have little or no chance of getting much support from the people of this town, especially with their catalogue of destruction of OUR town. So the leader and his gang of chums take note. ,!!!! skydriver
  • Score: 13

8:34pm Thu 8 May 14

pete woodley says...

Acting like a rabble and jeering,does not win,it shows lack of thought and brains.
Acting like a rabble and jeering,does not win,it shows lack of thought and brains. pete woodley
  • Score: -9

12:37am Fri 9 May 14

twynhamob says...

Guaranteed that if the path was open, and one of those in the picture got hurt, this same group would be protesting that the council should have closed the path,
Guaranteed that if the path was open, and one of those in the picture got hurt, this same group would be protesting that the council should have closed the path, twynhamob
  • Score: -4

1:36pm Fri 9 May 14

agp1337 says...

It might be interesting to look at Cllr Nottage's blog. He said on Friday that it was '... encouraging that complimentary comments made about Druitt gardens.' It's the item called 'Positive meetings this morning.' So far there have been no complimentary comments published, despite invitation. Perhaps you have some?
It might be interesting to look at Cllr Nottage's blog. He said on Friday that it was '... encouraging that complimentary comments [were] made about Druitt gardens.' It's the item called 'Positive meetings this morning.' So far there have been no complimentary comments published, despite invitation. Perhaps you have some? agp1337
  • Score: 7

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