‘Himalayan’ path causes complaints

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AN ELLON councillor is seeking answers from a major housing company, after promised public works at their development were left half-completed.

Cllr Rob Merson is seeking answers from Stewart Milne homes regarding the path connecting the South Road development with the riverbank route along the Ythan. He argues that the path - a condition of the development’s planning permission - has been left half finished, without an adequate handrail, and so steep as to render it unsafe.

Cllr Merson told the Times: “The pedestrian link was at first ‘forgotten’, and then delayed for many months at the ‘design stage’. I was therefore very pleased to note that the developer had at last commenced work some weeks ago. However, I have since received a number of complaints from the general public; and having examined the path I find it totally unacceptable.”

In a letter to the Council planning inspectors, Cllr. Merson said: “At street level, the step down into the garden area of the development is too deep, and there is a sharp and dangerously-corroded area of handrail which has not been repaired or replaced. The developer would also have demonstrated some initiative if the dyke-end at the nearby vehicular access off South Road had been finished off with a clean cut when making the path entrance, rather than leaving it in the unfinished state in which it has been left.

“However, the worst part of the feature is the link path to the riverside, which is so badly designed that few would attempt it without a team of Sherpas. It should have become obvious at the very earliest stages of construction that the unstepped incline at which it has been set is far too steep, even for a fit and able person. With a 25° gradient giving a 1 in 2.37 rise, I found it almost impossible to negotiate this path in new condition and perfect weather - but it would be totally impassable in adverse conditions, and I would also suggest that it requires a handrail.”

Cllr Merson has requested that planning inspectors assess the site, and call for the developer to redesign the path to an acceptable standard.

The Times contacted Stewart Milne Homes, however no one was available to comment.