New hope for long-awaited footpath at Easton

Easton Parish Council have campaigned for the new pavement. From left, Steve Medler, Brenda Daynes,

Easton Parish Council have campaigned for the new pavement. From left, Steve Medler, Brenda Daynes, Stewart Wither, Lucy Findlay, Margaret Hart, Mark Cordy and Les Pearson. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2012

A community facing a 78-year wait for a footpath has taken matters into its own hands by trying to raise money for the work themselves.

Easton Parish Council has teamed up with Easton College to contribute towards the funding for the long-awaited path which would run from the village, along Dereham Road past the Norfolk Showground to the Longwater Interchange.

As reported last April, Easton was close to the bottom of a list compiled by Norfolk County Council for new pavements, with 420 on the waiting list and money available to build just five last year.

It meant that if building did not speed up, those at the bottom of the list such as Easton would have to wait 78 years for the pavement.

But now the parish council has offered to fund 25pc of the cost of the path with the college and will bid for money to make up the rest of the funding through the county council's parish partnership scheme.


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The scheme for road improvements was approved by the county council in February and provides funding of £1m for highway work with the council meeting 50pc to 75pc of the costs.

Easton parish clerk John Witcombe said: 'We've been campaigning for my 11 years as a parish clerk on this, so we thought we would have a go.'

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Between 600 and 800 homes could be built around Easton under South Norfolk Council's Local Development Framework (LDF) and the parish council has argued that the pavement will be needed for the village to expand.

Mr Witcombe said that builders have already been brought in and given an estimate of £140,000 for the work, but the path would still be dependent on the county council providing funds through the parish partnership scheme.

Principal of Easton College, David Lawrence, said, 'We have built up a strong relationship with the parish council over many years and we are very supportive of them on this footpath issue.

'We believe that the development of this new public footpath will be of benefit to the Easton community, including college students, and we have agreed to financially support the parish council in their efforts to make this happen.'

The showground is also supporting the scheme.

Greg Smith, chief executive of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association, said: 'Easton and its parish council are great neighbours and we value our relationship with them. Developing the footpath will be of great benefit to all users, including visitors to the Norfolk Showground, and we are strongly supportive of the plan.

'Our trustees are currently examining ways in which we can support the parish council in their efforts to make this happen.'

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