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Hurry up and open our path again say residents in Thorpe Road, Hawkwell
PEDESTRIANS are having to make a half-mile detour after a developer closed off a path at 24 hours notice.
David Wilson Homes closed the path at the unmade end of Thorpe Road, Hockley, by its new housing development.
A sign placed at the site said that the closure is for safety reasons and it will remain closed “until further notice”.
Work started in Feburary to build 175 homes at Christmas Tree Farm, now known as Clements Gate.
Since then, residents of nearby Thorpe Road have complained of constant noise and dirt from lorries driving to and from the site and damage to pavements.
The closure of the path is the last straw for some residents, who say it means they now have to walk at least half a mile along narrow pavements in Main Road, or Rectory Road to reach shops, a doctor's surgery and Greensward and Westerings schools.
Thorpe Road resident Carol Dutton, 66, said: “They’ve given us virtually no notice and it is so inconvenient for so many older people who use it and also children going to the Greensward Academy.”
A county council spokeswoman said it will organise a meeting between the developer and residents as a result of the closure.
She added: "We appreciate it would have been useful if the developer had had better engagement with residents.
“We are aware that the developer has endeavoured to allow pedestrians access through the works up until now, but is now facing a situation where a full closure is necessary.
“We are in the process of organising a meeting with the developer and residents to discuss alternative routes and ascertain how long the closure will be in place.”
A spokeswoman for David Wilson Homes, who are building the housing development, said: “Construction site safety, both for our contractors and the local community, is of utmost importance to David Wilson Homes.
“It is with this in mind that, due to the current stage of deep drainage, services and road construction being carried out on site, we have decided the safest way forward is to completely close Thorpe Road at our site entrance down to plot 57.”
She added that the closure was in line with the permission they had been given to carry out the work.
“We are working hard to get the works finished in a timely manner and will re-open for pedestrians when it is safe to do so,” she said.
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