Longford Estate - detailed bridge comments

 The details of the withdrawal of Longford Estate's permission for the bridge were sent in two letters to the Parish Council, the full text of which will be published on the Parish Council website.  There has been a change of Estate manager between the original 'green light' and the Estate's current thinking and the new agent has "a different perspective".

In summary, the Estate now has concerns about:

  • The cost and management of maintenance to the bridge, the proposed footpath and fences, especially when livestock are grazing the water meadows

  • The potential risk of livestock escape and dog worrying of livestock

  • The amount of litter that could result

  • The potential use of the route for undesirable activities

  • The potential for the path to flood and therefore be unusable for six months of the year

  • The potential environmental impact on the flora and fauna of the main river and the

    water meadows, including concerns about water vole burrows, which are currently in evidence on the river bank

  • Potential flood impact on the village

In the letter dated 21 January, the Estate say: 

"Having reviewed the documentation made available and having consulted with our tenant farmer in regard to the potential impact such a project could have on the Estate’s land and the tenant’s business coupled with the concerns listed above, the Estate has decided to withdraw its agreement in principle set out in a letter dated 16 May 2016. The Estate will not facilitate a footpath to be created across the water meadows or a bridge structure to be sited on its land."

In addition to this, the latest communication to the Parish Council from the Estate makes the following points: 

"This decision has not been taken lightly and has taken into consideration the farming operation that takes place on the land that would be affected and the impact on the natural environment.......

............The Estate is proud of the long and good working relationship it has had with Downton Parish Council.

The Estate has provided, enabled and facilitated various functions over the years which include:

  • The use of The Boroughs for the annual Cuckoo Fair

  • Units for storage at a below market rent

  • Land for allotments

  • Land for the leisure centre

  • Permissive paths

  • Kerbing of the most westerly Borough in partnership with the Parish Council

Therefore the Estate reiterate that having reviewed the documentation made available and having consulted with our tenant farmer coupled with the concerns previously listed, the Estate confirms its decision to withdraw its agreement in principle set out in a letter dated 16 May 2016. The Estate will not facilitate a footpath to be created across the water meadows or a bridge structure to be sited on its land.

The Estate trust that the above is now absolutely clear and consider the matter closed."