A lot of Gurnites will know the bridle path that runs down the far side of the Sandown lands to the beach across the golf course. The Suburban Community Council were hoping to install a ramp on the last section of that path down to the beach but at the meeting last Wednesday night Dick Youngson outlined a problem that the project has encountered. Dick told the meeting:
“I had Stewart Easthaugh, the Access Paths officer, on the phone and it looks as if we’re not going to put the ramp down to the beach at the bridle path this autumn/winter. There’s been some slight hiccup. The funding actually has been set aside and we have to use it by December and I think it is LEADER funding that they’ve got and it would be in our name.
I think that the golf club have put in, a sort of almost, an objection at the moment and although we met them they were quite happy but there’s been another slight development which is going to delay it. So I understand they’ve to, are going to write to the contractors to say look, if we could sort of hold the tender prices until next year, they we’ll try and get this running and moving again. It certainly won’t be this year now, which is a pity."
Dick added later in discussion on this topic: “At the moment the path down it’dangerous because there are…it’s a loose path, a narrow path, there are some very sharp edges of rocks which are sticking out. Horses can’t use it and a lot of the people that are not as fleet of foot as young fit people, they find it extremely difficult.”
Cllr Martin Ashford asked what was the nature of the Golf Club’s objection.
Dick replied: “Stewart didn’t really say but what Stewart was going to do in the meantime until we can have another go, he was going to ask them to improve the access themselves, the Golf Club, at their expense at the moment to make it safe. It won’t be a proper ramp down to the beach, it will just be, I think, just moving the rock armouring aside. Of course they are worried that if it is not done properly the sea will come in again and start eroding what they’ve got. The fact is that the existing path down is really facing the wrong way and it should be angled up at a sort of north-westerly - south-easterly direction, south east at the top and that would stop the seas actually breaking in and scouring out. But we’ve had various engineers looking at it and they’ve approved the design which we had."
The descent to the beach which the subbies are hoping to improve with a ramp