Cycle link's sustainability benefit prevails

The realignment of a footpath in a Somerset village to form a link for the national cycle network has been allowed because it would support the principles embodied in developing sustainable transport links for the wider public good.

The village lay in an undulating landscape containing mature field boundary hedges and established groups of trees. The path followed the route of a former railway line that was well landscaped and screened by the presence of trees and shrubs along its embankments. The appeal scheme would provide a surfaced path along a field boundary, circumventing a blockage in the current route and necessitating the excavation of the embankment to ensure a suitable gradient.

The inspector recognised that the excavation and loss of some embankment trees would alter the appearance of the former railway line. However, he observed that the link path would be partly obscured by an existing hedge and proposed new landscaping. Since the appeal site affected only a small part of the considerable length of the main path, he decided that the change in local landscape character would be relatively minor. He concluded that the proposal would not harm the area's overall character or appearance.

DCS Number 100-050-202

Inspector Andrew Seaman; Written representations.

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