The Council has received an application from the Owners of Donnington Grove Country Club and Golf Course for changes to two public footpaths. These are; the part diversion of Footpath 30 Speen and the extinguishment of part of Footpath 15 Shaw. Two new sections of footpaths are also to be created. These changes are shown on tbe accompanying map.
The Owners believe that the diversion/extinguishment of these two footpaths is strongly required in the interests of the Owners but also the general public to achieve a satisfactory level of safety for users of the footpaths whilst enabling the golf course to continue to be used. The Owners believe that the existing course fails to comply with the safety guidelines used by the European Institute of Golf Course Architects (EIGA) and Local Planning Authorities. The Owners also believe that original planning permission was granted, even though concerns were raised regarding the existing layout on safety grounds, and that advances in golf club and ball technology have now made the golf coarse unsafe with serious conflicts between footpaths and fairways.
The Owners consider that the diverted footpaths will not be substantially less convenient for walkers (although they will cover a slightly greater distance overall) and will provide an attractive alternative route across the site. They also believe that the proposed changes will offer significant improvement to the local footpath network generally by providing important additional links which will allow for an attractive circular walk including a new footbridge over the River Lambourn. These links will also improve significantly access to the Snelsmore Country Park and secure a permanent completion of the Lambourn Valley Way.
The Owners would also stress that the overall benefit to the proposed diversions will to be create a safe walking environment for users of the footpath network whilst protecting the future use of the land for the purposes of a golf course.
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