PLANS for a public footpath next to a new housing estate in Porthcawl have been given the go-ahead – despite safety concerns from local residents.
Taylor Wimpey South Wales submitted plans to construct a footpath to connect the new housing development on the former St John’s School site in Newton to another footpath, known locally as Puddle Lane.
It will see a 1.5m wide ‘S-shaped’ footpath to connect the new housing development to Puddle Lane, which in turn connects the areas of Birch Walk and Church Street.
However, locals objected to the plans. They claimed the temporary works had created an unsafe path which “compromised” pedestrian safety. They argued that the additional route made a protective kissing gate on Puddle Lane less effective as it allowed vehicles to gain access.
The representations read: “Works have effectively created an unsafe and unauthorised footpath from the development into Puddle Lane.
Current arrangement allows access for unauthorised vehicles.
“The safety of pedestrians has been compromised by the unauthorised works to create a temporary footpath and safety would be similarly affected by the current design proposal that has not considered the ability to bypass the kissing gate, which was installed to eliminate these specific hazards.”
Cllr Jonathan Pratt, of Newton, requested the application be brought before the committee. He added that people had taken advantage of the lack of protection on the path to access it with motorbikes.
He said: “We have seen during the construction of St Johns people taking advantage of the lack of protections that exist there. I mean, I’ve personally stopped motorbikes going through Puddle Lane on my way travelling around the ward, and its been quite difficult for residents in the area.”
Officers responded to the concerns raised by saying that the overall development of the footpath was in line with planning, and would eventually be beneficial to residents, resulting in additional connectivity to the right of way.
Following talks, the plans were passed unanimously by members, under the conditions that Taylor Wimpey agreed to a revised design.
That includes measures to control vehicle access such as bollards and enclosures, as well as those that would allow for the process of adoption of the footpath for the local council once it was completed.