The new owner of the former Sue Ryder Home at Nettlebed has announced that a footpath which is parallel to the High Street will be open to the public from the end of this month. 

A planning application granted to Sue Ryder for the re-development of the former hospice and surrounding buildings includes a requirement to provide a footpath running from the entrance gate close to the High Street on the eastern side of the village to the western side of Joyce Grove near the Nettlebed Creamery.  The planning conditions stipulate that the footpath needed to be opened prior to the first residents moving into the apartments.

However, Beechcroft Developments has decided not to wait for the planning application to be implemented and are aiming to have the footpath open by the end of June once security fencing is in place.  This approach was communicated to a meeting of Nettlebed Parish Council on Tuesday (7 June).

There are no public rights of way across the site, though under the ownership of Sue Ryder permissive access through the grounds had, historically, been provided.

Christopher Thompson, Managing Director of Beechcroft Developments, explained: “As a local business, based in Wallingford, we felt it would be churlish to delay the opening of the footpath, so why wait any longer?  It will provide safe walking for pedestrians who want to avoid using the narrow footpaths in the High Street and for dog walkers. Until the development has been constructed and occupied, the footpath will be permissive and we trust that those who use it will respect the privacy of the adjoining land owners”

James Leach, chairman of Nettlebed Parish Council, commented: “On behalf of Nettlebed Parish Council and village residents I’m delighted that Beechcroft Developments are opening the footpath that will provide a safe and quieter east/west route through the village.

“I would like to thank Christopher Thompson and his team for responding to village concerns and for their speedy and generous actions to resolve them.”