Fenstanton woman successfully delays ‘nature-destroying’ footpath construction

Fenstanton resident Dolores O'Reilly next to the marked out footpath

Fenstanton resident Dolores O'Reilly next to the marked out footpath - Credit: Archant

A plucky Fenstanton resident was so furious about a footpath being constructed close to her home that she stormed outside, moved the ‘work in progress’ sign and prevented the work from starting.

Dolores O’Reilly told The Hunts Post that she was just about to tuck into her breakfast yesterday (Tuesday) when she saw workmen with three lorries and a digger by the fence that borders her cottage in Chequer Street.

“I asked them what they were doing and they said they were constructing a footpath,” she said. “I told them they were not and then they said they had been given permission and they were starting today.

“So I moved their ‘work in progress’ sign and I told them I would keep moving it until they stopped.”

The workmen packed up and left, informing 48-year-old Miss O’Reilly that they had been told by their foreman to leave the site. Cambridgeshire County Council was contacted by The Hunts Post and it was confirmed that work had stopped to enable the highways department to investigate the situation.

Miss O’Reilly, a property manager who has lived at the cottage for five years, was angry that she had not been consulted about the footpath, and said that it would destroy the rural nature.

She also believes it would be unsafe.

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“At the moment there is a tarmac surface out there, which is fine. If they build a footpath it would not be continuous and would have to stop where the cars exit from the properties.

“This would cause safety issues, particularly for all the children who walk from the nearby Fenstanton breakfast and after school club to the village school.”

A spokesman for the county council said that the work, which was requested by and paid for by another resident, was to upgrade an on-road footpath, marked by a white line, to a better quality path with kerbing over a length of about 30metres of Chequer Street.

“Our contractors arrived on site to begin work when a resident raised concerns about the nature of the work and consultation with the local community. As a result of those concerns we have agreed to stop the work temporarily while we look at the design, suitability and acceptability of the path to local residents,” the spokesman said.