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Fears housing development will make Honeybourne Line 'dangerous' to use

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: November 27, 2012

TAKING OVER: Michael Kent at the point where building work is encroaching on the Honeybourne Line

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CONSTRUCTION work at a housing development has sparked fears the historic Honeybourne Line path will become "dangerous" to use and "inaccessible".

The foot and cycle path has been dug up and halved in width behind the Prince of Wales Stadium in Cheltenham while developer Bloor Homes builds 176 homes on the Midwinter site, off Tommy Taylor's Lane.

New parking spaces at the site border the path with no kerb or barrier to separate vehicles from pedestrians and cyclists once the new residents move into the homes.

Resident Michael Kent, 49, called for a barrier to be installed at the site.

"There is no kerb to deter driving on the footpath or even parking there, so this could be a dangerous area for anyone on foot or bicycle," he said.

Mr Kent, who has been using the path for 15 years, added: "Because there is no barrier to separate the path from the parking spaces, when cars start parking there they could have their front or rear overhanging the path. This will make it difficult to get past."

The father-of-two, who works for GE Aviation Systems, added: "They have actually cut into the path, which makes it very narrow so walkers and cyclists cannot pass at the same time.

"It is only the regulars who use this path that are affected and can see what is happening."

Bloor Homes was unavailable to comment on whether a kerb or barrier would be installed at the edge of the car park.

Cheltenham Borough Council granted Bloor planning permission for the development in summer 2011, and construction work began in February.

The development is expected to finish in around two years.

David Roberts, head of property and asset management at the council, said: "Bloor Homes has worked hard to make sure that the Honeybourne Line remains open whilst the development is taking place.

"They have taken measures to temporarily section off some of the pathway so that they can work safely, leaving room for pedestrians and cyclists to use the route as usual."

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