Wed. Oct 20th, 2021

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

Closed footpath will be open again soon

2 min read

A row over a closed footpath in Freshwater is expected to be resolved in the next few weeks.
Locals were angered when a public footpath, by the side of Octopus Workshop in Avenue Road, was gated off overnight last April.

Adrian Crilly said: “I have used that path ,which cuts through from Tennyson Road to Avenue Road, for the 16 years I have been here. It was suddenly closed around a year ago with a sign saying the path was being misused, but I never saw any problems there all the time I have used it.

“During the various lockdowns, when the fish and chip shop has been serving, there is a queue on the narrow pavement and I’ve been forced to cross three roads to go around it to get home.
“We’ve complained to the Parish Council and the IW Council, and they say it’s all in hand, but the pathway is still closed. There’s lots of rubbish there now; it looks terrible.”
Sarah Doe added: “I’ve been using it for nearly 50 years and my husband cuts down there to get the newspaper.

“I’ve never seen any problems there and it was closed in the first lockdown with no consultation when there were hardly any people out and about anyway.”
Freshwater parish councillor, John Medland, said: “We have checked and the land belongs to the owners of the Octopus Workshop. We could have issued a ‘Rights of Way Order’ but it costs £2,500 to carry it through. I have spoken to the owners and been assured that they will reopen the pathway.”
Octopus owner Pippa White, who makes unique handmade pieces of artwork on site, confirmed: “The alleyway is dark and uneven and during the first lockdown we found that younger people were gathering there to have a smoke and a drink and were leaving all their litter behind.

“We closed it off and always intended to reopen it. However, we want to make sure that there won’t be any more anti-social gatherings there and we are looking at options for CCTV cameras to manage the area.
“During the lockdowns, we’ve had a lot on our plate like everyone else but, once we can install the CCTV, we will open it up again. Hopefully, we are looking at weeks, rather than months.”

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