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Protect Wessex Place Cut Through

The Wessex Place path leading from McGrath Avenue to Huntingdon Road and Castle Road is a key thoroughfare

for pedestrians and cyclists from Castle, Arbury, West Chesterton and surrounds making their way to shop,

worship, get to work and school, catch the bus and go to Castle Mound, Shire Hall and the green forecourt as

well as to and from the City Centre. A recent residents' survey recorded that the average number of journeys

made on foot or by cycle on a weekday and based on a sample of six hours at different times of the day was

two journeys per minute.


The footpath has permissive rights of public access and is not a right of way.  Residents are concerned that the

leasing of Shire Hall and associated buildings for development by Brookgate (the railway station area developers) may jeopardise access or that, in any event, access is not necessarily protected.


We seek to call upon the County Council to take all steps within its power to ensure that public access to the

Wessex footpath by way of these permissive rights is protected in perpetuity.


We therefore call upon the County Council to take the following action for the benefit of all Cambridgeshire



                i.     Devise a legal way to protect public access to that part of the Wessex Place footpath that is owned by

                the County to ensure that public access to that area of the Wessex place footpath is protected in


              ii.     Negotiate with all those having an interest in the Wessex Place footpath to ensure that positive

                cooperation between all such parties devises a legal way to ensure public access to the footpath in its

                entirety is maintained in perpetuity.

            iii.     In accordance with i. and ii. above to ensure that public access to the Wessex Place footpath from

               McGrath Avenue is protected in perpetuity.


Not Specified
Tuesday, 14 January 2020
Tuesday, 31 March 2020
Friends of Castle Mound
This petition currently has 564 signatures in total.
Petition Signatories
564 electronic signatures
 Page 1 of 57, items 1 to 10 of 564.
Rachel Abbott
Gail Abbott
Alan Ackroyd
Anke Adams
Mark Adcock
Danielle Ainsworth-Patrick
ian alister
Cherry Allison
Natalie Amery
Holly Anderson
This petition has been reviewed and the following response has been offered:

Given that a related question was raised by Dr Lesley Dee in February 2019, and that issues around Shire Hall site access have been discussed regularly at previous Council meetings, I will respond to the petition in a relatively brief way.

 The County Council sold the site of 35 Magrath Avenue on 31st March 1989 to Granta Housing, who subsequently sold the site to Trinity College. The 1989 transfer required Granta to build a cycle path and a footpath to Shire Hall, and preserve rights for the County Council and its successors to use them. It should be noted that the creation of a public right of way was not intended, and the transfer stated that the Right of Way may be closed once a year to ensure that a public Right of Way was not created. Trinity College have erected signs to that effect.

 Over the 30 years since, the access path has regularly been used by members of the public, County Council staff and occupiers of the Trinity College buildings, but I reiterate that this is not a public Right of Way.

 The County Council is not planning to sell the site and the permissive rights, personal to the Council, remain as originally intended.

 Creating a public access is in the gift of Trinity College and the County Council is limited in what it can do. The County Council has written to Trinity College, through their agent Bidwells, four times asking to explore the option of upgrading the permissive access. They have recently re-confirmed that they were not willing to upgrade the right to a public right of way due to anti-social confrontations between cyclist and pedestrians/vehicles. They fully understand the Council’s permissive rights to the Shire Hall site.

 Whilst understanding the wishes of local residents for the County Council to secure the access as a public right of way, this is not possible without the agreement of Trinity College. However, as we are not disposing of the freehold of the site, our permissive rights remain unfettered.

 Cllr Mac McGuire

Chairman, Cambridgeshire County Council

 Page 1 of 58, items 1 to 10 of 576.
29/07/2020 11:40 James Veitch Response PublishedResponse Published
29/07/2020 11:36 James Veitch Response ApprovedResponse Published
29/07/2020 11:36 James Veitch  Response Awaiting Approval
29/07/2020 11:30 James Veitch Response RejectedResponse Pending
29/07/2020 11:21 James Veitch  Response Awaiting Approval
01/04/2020 05:08(System Event)Petition Closed (responder emailed requesting response)Response Pending
31/03/2020 11:39Unregistered UserPetition Signed: Louisa MayerPetition Active
31/03/2020 11:35Unregistered UserPetition Signed: Wendy PullanPetition Active
31/03/2020 10:47Unregistered UserPetition Signed: Niki HewlettPetition Active
31/03/2020 08:07Unregistered UserPetition Signed: Devin McLachlanPetition Active

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