To receive and consider correspondence from West Oxfordshire District Council and to consider if the Town Council wishes to confirm that it would be supportive of further discussions about these aspects of the East Witney development that affect Town Council land and equally to let West Oxfordshire District Council know if there are any specific aspects contained within the correspondence that would not be supported.
The committee received and considered correspondence from West Oxfordshire District Council, asking if the Town Council agreed to the use of several areas under its ownership to facilitate new cycle and footpath connectivity from the Witney East Development at Cogges.
Members welcomed this request and discussed the merits of each proposed area while offering several further suggestions for consideration.
As an enthusiastic advocate of active travel, Witney Town Council supports the addition of better cycle and footpaths from the Witney East Development. It therefore agrees that they may cross land in its ownership, providing the costs are covered by the developer, and the following points are taken into consideration for each of the four areas consulted on;
1. Eton Close Play Area – the Town Council welcomes this proposal and asks that the path be kept near the housing side of the site to avoid infringement onto sports pitches and requests that it is a suitable width to allow shared foot and cycle use. The natural drainage in this area during the winter can be problematic so the Town Council also asks that the surface, while remaining similar to the existing Cogges network, is suitable and the best quality for this environment. The current gate system onto Eton Close would need to be re-modelled for continued access, safety and provide an opening for the cycle users.
2. Manor Road/Cogges Hill Road – the Town Council welcomes this suggestion and considers it to be a sensible continuation of the current connectivity to facilitate safer and greener travel.
3. Country Park – the Town Council supports a scheme across its land here and has lobbied for a controlled crossing at Farm Mill Lane, to facilitate onward travel to Henry Box School and the Leys for some time. The unlabelled dotted line on the proposal map would have less of an impact on the park itself and could also use the newly built bridge near to Farm Mill Lane.
The Town Council would also support a route further south, possibly across the disused railway bridge, to join up and take people to Witney Lake, Station Lane Industrial estates and supermarkets beyond.
4. Wadards Meadow/Oxlease Open Space – The Town Council’s welcomes a route here as part of the wider active travel scheme and its preferred option would be to have a cycle/footpath along the existing southern side path from east to west, going around the corner along the tree line and joining the main cycle path behind Blake C of E Primary School, and on towards Cogges Manor Farm.
That these comments be passed to the Policy, Governance and Finance Committee for agreement on behalf of the Council, and then forwarded to West Oxfordshire District Council by was or response to the request.