A MOTHER has expressed her fears for pedestrian safety as her children have to cross a busy road to get to school without a safe footpath.

Mother-of-one Deborah Bennett, who lives in Hook on the new Oakwood Grange development, has claimed the Hart District Council allowed David Wilson and Barratt to remove the obligation in their planning permission to put a footway and cycleway into link Barratt and David Wilson along the side of Griffin Way North.

She said this would provide a lit path for all residents to access all of the developments safely including children travelling to high school to get to a more direct crossing point for their school bus.

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She said: "Following this they chose to put in a wooden boardwalk across the green wasteland that should be an attractive green space as they claim it is flooded too often. We bought homes on the sales plans of hoggin paths.

"Residents will now be responsible for the upkeep of wood which is already in poor quality and rotting as it stands in water. The developers have made the land more flooded by their earth-moving machines damaging it and compacting it and they have not attempted to improve this before pulling out. They also knew it was floodplain pre-development so should have put in suitable plans that were well-considered from the start.

"Finally they have not even bothered to build the final part of the path linking the Croudace Green Hart Park development to this green space. This would provide all residents with better access to all parts of the developments."

Hart District Council have since responded.

A spokesperson said: "We are aware that the developer has without permission changed a footpath to a boardwalk surface. The developer has submitted a planning application seeking to keep the boardwalk. The reasons why the developer changed the footpath’s surface are explained in the planning application.

"We are now seeking the views of residents on the developer’s planning application and inviting everyone to submit their comments at Planning applications | Hart District Council quoting planning application reference: 22/01987/AMCON."

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Despite this Deborah is still concerned.

She continued:" I along with many residents fear that Reading Road and Griffin Way North are far too fast for pedestrians to get across. The current crossing point on Reading Road for children making their way from the Barratt part of Oakwood Grange to the bus for transit to Robert Mays high school is a crossing point in a 50 mph zone

"I believe that this is the only part of Hook where children must cross a 50mph road five days a week. It drops to a 40mph zone only metres after the crossing point. It is a fear that cars and lorries travelling at speeds in excess of this (which does happen), is only going to get worse when Sainsbury’s opens at the top of our development (Griffin Way North & A30) due to the increase in traffic."

A spokesperson for David Wilson Homes Southern said: “The original footpath design has been improved so that it is better suited to being used in all weathers. We’re sorry that this process has taken some time and for the inconvenience caused to local residents.

“We continue to work closely with the local authority whilst the retrospective application for the footpath is being processed and hope that this is resolved shortly. We’d like to thank local residents for their patience.”