Wiltshire Publications

Disabled access to fishing lake expected “this summer” following months of delay

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A DEVELOPER who installed a continuous one-metre vehicle barrier around Eden Vale lake by the railway station in Westbury has insisted that gaps will be added “this summer” to allow disabled lake users access to the lake – four months after construction to the barrier was first started.  

Cllr Matt Dean by the lake.

A member from Warminster and District Angling Club, Rich Curtis, has said he has had to physically lift a disabled person over the barrier as they wanted to access the lake.  

Rich said, “We’ve had a few complaints from people who can’t access the lake, and last week I had to physically lift someone over the fence just so they could get to the water and fish– that wasn’t easy to do. 

“The wait is frustrating, and I understand that Linden Homes has more important things to do, but it doesn’t help us out, does it? 

“In terms of the design, I think they’ve done the best job they can really – the barrier is obviously prevalent next to the lake, but it’s done in a way that isn’t a complete eyesore. Obviously, the lake would be better without the barrier, and I understand it’s a requirement from Wiltshire Council, but I still think it’s a complete waste of money when you look at other lakes that don’t have this kind of barrier.” 

The vehicle restraint barrier is a highways safety requirement from Wiltshire Council’s highways team as the unitary authority is set to adopt the road. Linden Homes says the reason for the delay is that they have had to liaise with Wiltshire Council over the design for the gaps in the barrier. 

A spokesperson from Linden Homes said, “We had hoped to complete the works to the vehicle restraint barrier in June, however it has taken longer due to the nature of the design and the necessary agreements. The vehicle restraint barrier will be handed over to the local authority when the road is adopted, so the design has been approved by Wiltshire Council, with works due to be completed this summer. 

“We would like to apologise again for any disruption while these essential works take place, however highway safety has to take priority in this instance.” 

Wiltshire Council say that the ball is in the developer’s court and that they are waiting for Linden Homes to contact the contractors. 

Wiltshire Council cabinet member for highways, cllr Dr Mark McClelland said, “Linden Homes will make arrangements with contractors to install the gap. The latest update from Linden Homes is that these works will likely take place in July, but an exact date will be confirmed in due course.” 

Wiltshire Council councillor, Matt Dean, previously blasted Wiltshire Council over their “shambolic” handling of the issue.  

Speaking at a recent meeting of Westbury Town Council on Monday 4th July, cllr Dean said, “I received a letter last week from the director of highways at Wiltshire Council that explained he had written an indemnity letter to the developer, allowing them to put gaps in the fence. They’ve got the funds and the developer are keen to do it; I’ve pushed them for a date but they have not committed to one as so far.