Mums with pushchairs 'risking lives' crossing busy road

PUBLISHED: 09:01 30 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:46 02 August 2019

Brian and Barbara White say claiming a pavement outside their home would damage tree roots is nonsense.  Picture Chris Carson

Brian and Barbara White say claiming a pavement outside their home would damage tree roots is nonsense. Picture Chris Carson

Archant

Residents on a new Axminster housing estate say the lack of a pavement outside their homes is putting lives at risk.

They say mums with pushchairs and wheelchair users are being forced to cross a busy road used not only by residents but also heavy construction traffic.

Brian and Barbara White claim plans for the Cloakham Lawns estate, off Chard Road, showed a pavement outside their home at Cloakham Drive.

But council officials say what they deemed to be a footpath was, in fact, only a 'service margin'.

And they say building a permanent pavement there would harm the roots of a tree on the adjoining open green space.

Mrs White said the situation was 'an absolute nightmare', with pram and wheelchair users having to cross the road to the pavement on the other side and then cross back again further down the estate to return to the right side.

"Our road is busy with normal traffic plus heavy lorries, diggers, bulldozers and forklifts. Bovis Homes will be building here for years. There is plenty of room to continue the pavement all the way on this side of the road."

Mr White added: "There is going to be an accident before long. People are putting their lives at risk."

Bovis Homes has recently put down a temporary footpath outside the houses but says it cannot build a permanent pavement because of the nearby tree.

A spokesman told the Herald: "The tree is a hybrid lime, which is a category-A tree and is protected by a tree protection order (TPO) and also by a root protection area (RPA).

"RPAs are designed to protect the trees' root systems and provide sufficient rooting environment to allow the trees to continue to thrive.

"The RPAs prohibit groundwork, construction, development or storage activity within the designated area. The highway proposals obviously had to take that into account.

"The temporary footpath is in place while there is construction work going on, and this hasn't required the more robust foundation work that a permanent footpath would, which would adversely impact the RPA."

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