posted 31 Jul 2011, 14:35 by Eli Kling

BCC has now received £170,000 from the developers as their contribution to the creation of cycle routes from the PMH site to local schools and also to the centre of Wendover.

The school route prefered by BCC is Option D, that goes off road along the edge of the field at the back of The Beeches. In March the Canadian owner of the land agreed in principle to sell the needed strip of land subject to receiving an acceptable offer and BCC indicated that the would go ahead and get a valuation. This clearly is not something that happens very often as it took to the middle of July to ascertain the procedure for land acquisition.   It is now hoped that BCC Property Services will be in a position to make the land owner an offer in the very near future.

However it appears there is another hurdle to cross. A Business Case has to be made to justify the land purchase, this will have to show the benefits of the proposed route compared to other options and will have to be approved at Cabinet level. So it would seem we are deep into BCC politics and how long it will take to get the Business Case approved is an unknown.

If this route is to go ahead it will require a significant input of external funding. When first costed in 2009 the estimate excluding land was £206,000 so there is a significant shortfall without taking into account the fact that there will already be internal costs to set against the £170,000. BCC are hoping that any gap in funding will be met from a successful bid to the Sustrans 'Links to Schools' fund. It also overlooks the need to fund a route into Wendover that formed part of the original agreement which was made with the developer.

Looking back through the records, a letter dated April 2005, from the Area Planning Officer (South) states that " the cycleway will cross the field to the north of the primary and secondary schools to avoid the need to travel on the busy roads serving the school". So please do not expect any action in the near future.