Tarka Trail plan ignores parking

SIR - Any improvement of public access to the Tarka Trail at Yelland is very much welcomed. The planning notice DCC/2755/2008 lays out the proposals to provide a combined cycleway and footpath, 2.5 metres wide, running the full length of the road from the

SIR - Any improvement of public access to the Tarka Trail at Yelland is very much welcomed. The planning notice DCC/2755/2008 lays out the proposals to provide a combined cycleway and footpath, 2.5 metres wide, running the full length of the road from the B3233 (Barnstaple-Bideford road) to the Tarka Trail, on the Barnstaple side of the road. Inevitably, the application reveals a number of concerns regarding Parking and Environment issues which I , for one, will formally raise as part of the public consultation. The planning application ignores parking: A large number of users drive up to the Tarka Trail; they can only park along the side of the busy road to the various industrial units on or near the old power station site. Daily, there are frequently a dozen or more vehicles competing for the parking space at the same time. It is just not feasible to believe that all potential users of the trail will be able to contemplate the long approach march to the trail from the B 3233. They include many older folk, families with children and those with limited time to exercise. They come with binoculars, pushchairs, dogs, mobility scooters as well as bicycles. Not all are as fit as they would wish. Parking facilities are a critical element in improving access for all, not just the privileged few who may live in West Yelland. Parking can be easily provided, near to the trail. One such site is the old Recreation Club car park, hard standing now fenced and gated. Either way, a lay-by or parking area is required if the DCC aim is to be achieved. It is noted that the existing barrier and access gate to the trail will be brought forward to the edge of the road, losing current parking space for several vehicles. Environmental issues: While acknowledging the bio-diversity of the area to the east of the road, it is considered that the cutting back and/or removal of the vegetation, to accommodate the width of the path will constitute no damage or danger to the natural status quo. Hedgerows are not popular in North Devon and what we have here offers as much cover and comfort to the birds and small mammals as what is left of many of our roadside hedgerows. To ignore this just precipitates further the general loss of habitat and food which nature provides. Accepting that something has to give, at the very least, the boundary of the new superpath should incorporate the planting and creation of a new hedgerow. This should also provide a natural corridor which should be retained against any future development plans for the fields to the East of this access road. This is an overview, to see the full plan, surfers of all ages can just Google DCC/2755/2008 ... you are straight in to this planning application. Let us help DCC achieve their aim. David Jeremy, Instow.


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