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Reinstated Thorley footpaths on St James' Park estate at Stortford South in a 'very different landscape' to before



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Two footpaths in the middle of a new housing development in Thorley have finally been reinstated and reopened – although campaigners say they are now in a landscape very different to that of a year ago.

Countryside Properties, which is building a new estate at St James' Park off Whittington Way, was granted temporary traffic regulation orders (TTROs) to close footpaths 1 and 3 on November 2, 2020, originally for 12 weeks.

But the footpaths remained closed, much to the annoyance of residents and campaigners. The developer was given an extension until November 2 this year but was warned failure to comply could lead to an enforcement notice.

Footpaths 1 and 3 finally reinstated (52893019)
Footpaths 1 and 3 finally reinstated (52893019)

Dave Webber, from Bishop's Stortford Footpaths Association, reported the news on the group's Facebook page that "after a series of missed deadlines and broken promises" the paths had been reopened.

"This morning, accompanied by local [parish] councillor and long-standing Thorley Street resident Janet Rolfe, we checked out the footpaths," said Dave. "We entered a very different landscape from the one we left 12 months ago.

"The field contours have been dramatically reconfigured and new balancing ponds dot the landscape. It now presents a very different walk to the one that Janet knew over 80 years ago.

Footpaths 1 and 3 finally reinstated (52893028)
Footpaths 1 and 3 finally reinstated (52893028)

"The footpaths themselves now run through a corridor of temporary Heras-type fencing and are approximately two metres wide."

Dave further reported that the surface was "satisfactory, given the conditions, and offered no major obstacles".

In a statement to the Indie announcing Countryside was aiming to reopen the footpaths "at the earliest possibility", the developer added: "We would like to thank the local community for their patience and understanding while these works are under way."

Footpaths 1 and 3 finally reinstated (52893010)
Footpaths 1 and 3 finally reinstated (52893010)
Footpaths 1 and 3 finally reinstated (52893025)
Footpaths 1 and 3 finally reinstated (52893025)
Footpaths 1 and 3 finally reinstated (52893013)
Footpaths 1 and 3 finally reinstated (52893013)


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