Cycling plan bosses made to back-pedal

Angry residents on Holmfield at the footpath that it is proposed to turn into a cycle route
Angry residents on Holmfield at the footpath that it is proposed to turn into a cycle route
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A LACK of information on a proposed cycle path – including its exact route – prompted councillors to reject the plans at a meeting on Monday.

The application for a path for walkers and cyclists through Grinlow Wood and out onto Holmfield in Burbage, Buxton, linking up with other trails, had met with strong opposition from a number of residents.

While members of High Peak Borough Council’s Development Control Committee, and even objectors, expressed support for the overall scheme , the lack of information and highway concerns led councillors to unanimously refuse the plans.

The fact that the route of the 2.5 metre wide tarmaced track would not be known until contractors had started work was viewed an unacceptable by members.

Councillor Lance Dowson said: “I feel we don’t know enough yet. It seems to me that we are be asked to sign a blank cheque and someone is going to fill in my name later on.”

Cllr Bob McKeown said he had major traffic concerns: “Just while we there (on a site visit) the speed of some of that traffic was horrendous.”

Cllr Graham Oakley, said: “It is a fantastic idea and I was going to vote in favour until I saw Holmfield.

“It seems exactly the wrong place for the path to come out and I still think they need to look for alternatives.

“I am one of those people who will park as close as I can to start walking or cycling and will try and avoid any car parking charges.

“I don’t think any signs will stop people parking on the already congested street.

Ward councillor and committee member John Faulkner moving refusal said there was insufficient detail available and too much left to be decided after approval.

“That is totally unacceptable to my residents who are likely to be most affected by it,” he said.

There was also no information about the impact on drainage – which was already an issue in the area – or how many mature trees would be lost.

Referring to concerns about an increase in car parking he said: “Holmfield is not a normal road it is a rat run.”

Earlier, Nicola Storey, speaking in favour of the application, told members it would provide a vital link to Harpur Hill and provide a real alternative to those who live locally and currently use their car to get to the industrial estate.

She said it would also provide improved access to the woods as the current path was often muddy and slippery.

John Edwards, speaking on behalf of residents, said it would be unsafe to use Holmfield access and that a parking deterrent would not be sufficient. “Expecting cyclists to pay is just wishful thinking,” he said.

Residents were supportive of a cycle path but not the access to it from Holmfield, and were very concerned about the lack of information available, he said.