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We have helped save two public footpaths at Oake Manor golf course, near Taunton in Somerset, from being moved to inferior routes.  Our local correspondent Paul Partington was among the objectors at a hearing last month.  The inspector’s decision, refusing the path changes, was issued last week.

The existing routes run from Oake Manor in a direct line eastwards, whereas the proposed diversion would have taken walkers on a circuitous path, out of their way.  The inspector, Mr D Isaac, rejected the change because it brought walkers closer to the driving range, putting them at risk, and there was an awkward crossing of a stream, with a steep slope, stile and narrow bridge.

Says Paul: ‘We are delighted to have saved these delightful paths from being shifted from their old, direct routes.

‘However, we are concerned that one of these paths is obstructed at the boundary of the golf-course and Somerset County Council, the highway authority, has apparently ignored our
numerous requests to deal with the problem.

‘Furthermore, there are misleading maps on the golf-course boundary, showing some of the paths on incorrect routes.  It seems that 20 years ago the builders of the golf-course failed to get the paths diverted before they went ahead with construction and now there are problems which must be resolved.

‘We shall continue to press for the paths to be put in good order as this is good walking country,’ Paul concludes.


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