Could way be paved for new footpath in Moulton Seas End?

Villagers in Moulton Seas End campaigning for a new footpath.  Photo: SG110214-333NG.
Villagers in Moulton Seas End campaigning for a new footpath. Photo: SG110214-333NG.
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Plans to build five new homes in Moulton Seas End could mean the arrival of a long-awaited footpath in the village.

The prospect of improving the safety of pedestrians using Seas End Road was raised during talks about an application to build five houses on just over an acre of land near Cassini Lodge.

My neighbours have now applied for outline planning permission to build five large, family homes on their land and this means more families with no safe access into the village

Dawn Adams, of Moulton Seas End

A shortage of land and money has long been held out to be the reasons for the failure so far of a campaign to provide a footpath which schoolchildren and other villagers could use along Seas End Road.

Mum-of-two Dawn Adams, who has been campaigning on the issue for at least eight years, wrote to The Moultons Parish Council requesting for the cost of a new footpath to be made a condition of the Cassini Lodge plans.

Ms Adams said: “There is no footpath on either side of Seas End Road and there are family homes with no safe walking access to the village or pick-up points for school buses.

“One school bus operator has tried to stop directly outside my house, but found it impossible to do so safely due to the narrow width of the road, a blind bend and speeding traffic.

“My neighbours have now applied for outline (initial stage) planning permission to build five large, family homes on their land.

“This, of course, means more families with no safe access to the village and yet more children without a footpath to walk to school bus points.

“Schoolchildren also catch a bus to Moulton school from here and there are also secondary school age children using this road each day.

“When you consider this application, can you please add to your planning comments that the developers should be made to pay for a footpath before any building starts and that this needs to be a condition of any development?

“Lincolnshire County Council highways officers always maintain that they can’t afford to meet the cost and that you can’t develop this road safely without means for families to walk to the village.

“Therefore, the obvious answer is for the developers to contribute towards the costs of a new footpath for Moulton Seas End.”

During a discussion about Ms Adams’ request at The Moultons Parish Council’s July meeting in Moulton Chapel on Tuesday, parish council chairman Coun James Meade said: “A member of the public has raised a legitimate concern.

“What are we going to do about it or what can we do about it?”

Responding to Coun Meade’s question, Moulton Seas End resident Peter Breach said: “There’s a long history of the parish council trying to get a footpath put in the village.

“But there were always a couple of people who would object, even though the majority of people living in the area were for a footpath.

“It’s been looked at long and hard, but there was no provision for a footpath to be laid in that location.

“So to get one put in afterwards, the only way of getting it is if someone gives up the land for it.

“It’s not as if the parish councillors never tried to do it, it’s just that they got a poor response from the village when they tried bringing people together.

“If you talk to anybody round Moulton Seas End, they will say ‘I can see the need for a footpath’. But without the willingness of landowners to help, it won’t happen.”

Ms Adams’ campaign intensified in March this year after one of her daughters was had to step off a grass verge she was walking along and into mud to avoid a car while on her way to catch the bus to school .

Ms Adams added: “She had to come back home to get changed and then walk back to the bus stop, even when she was worried about being late for school.

“I do not consider it acceptable that just because the county council haven’t been able to purchase the small amount of land needed to put in a footpath, children are forced off the road into puddles and mud to avoid being hit.”

In response, a county council highways spokesman said: “Keeping people safe is one of our top priorities, so we do appreciate the concerns of local residents and understand their desire for a footpath.

“We have explored whether this is possible, but the reality is that there is simply not enough highways land for one to be created.

“That means neighbouring land would need to be acquired; however, not all the landowners are willing to sell, meaning this could only be done through a compulsory purchase order.

“This is likely to cost more than the footpath itself and it is a lengthy process for which there is no guarantee we would be successful.

The spokesman added: “Along with the county council’s budget being greatly reduced over the last few years, this is not something we would be able to fund.”

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