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Firgrove Parade flare-up over right-of-way footpath

An inquiry will be held into plans to remove the public right of way from a footpath leading to and from Firgrove Parade in Farnborough

Claire Marshall (left) and Elaine Grieveson at a previous protest against the development of Firgrove Parade

The controversial Firgrove Parade redevelopment has been put on hold following disputes over a public right of way.

Plans to demolish the parade of shops in Farnborough and replace it with flats, retail space and a new Premier Inn hotel at a nearby green area were approved in June last year despite receiving mass complaints.

Work got under way a month later as the green area was fenced off to make way for the 80-bed hotel and ground-floor Beefeater restaurant, and trees were felled at the site.

Opponents to the plans staged an occupy protest and managed to save some of the trees, however they were eventually asked by police to leave the area and the remaining trees were removed.

But the development by applicant Bride Hall, which owns the row of shops at Firgrove Parade, has come under fire once again.

A proposal has been put forward to remove the public right of way on a footpath connecting Firgrove Parade and Kingsmead in order for it to be built on.

 

Many residents and business owners submitted objections to the proposed order and a public inquiry is now due to take place on Wednesday September 3 at Rushmoor Borough Council’s offices, in Farnborough Road, at 10am.

Deborah Price, of Longworth Photographic, which is based in Firgrove Parade, said: “Before we found out about the inquiry we had a lot of people coming into the shop and asking what was happening with the green?

“Being in the shop every day, we could see how people were in danger and we had the view of what it will be like if the inquiry does allow the stopping of the public right of way.

“People were having to walk in the road when it was fenced off, and people with buggies were struggling to get round.

“It has been a public right of way for over 25 years.

“I don’t know the legal ins and outs of it but I know that if I was trying to build on a public right of way it wouldn’t be allowed, hopefully they will see sense.”

Mrs Price’s shop remains open and she does not yet know when she is expected to leave.

Anyone wishing to submit a written statement to be heard at the public inquiry is requested to send it to the National Transport Casework Team, Tyneside House, Skinnerburn Road, Newcastle Business Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 7AR, by Wednesday August 13.

A copy should also be sent to Chris Blamey, the agent for Bride Hall, at RGP, The Old Stables, Fry’s Yard, Bridge Street, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 1HP.

 

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