Closure of Granta Park to village residents - updated statement from TWI

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Abington residents have had permissive access to Granta Park since its inception. Regrettably, TWI security issues have resulted in a need to tighten access control so they propose to withdraw this permission once various measures are put in place. Access gates requiring an access code are expected to be installed on Monday 31 July at all pedestrian access points apart from the one from Bourn Bridge Road fields, over the bridge, which will be closed off.

The parish councils were advised on 18th May 2017 that this was expected to happen in June. An announcement was made in the June village magazine. Requests to allow continued access by residents have so far met with refusal.

As anticipated this has caused consternation around the village, so Great Abington PC has drafted a response to many of the concerns expressed. This note is published here.

TWI has recently issued some clarification of their stance on this matter: 

  • Firstly, it is important to say that we regret that this action has become necessary and we apologise for any inconvenience caused to local residents.
  • The changes being made to our security arrangements are necessary in response to a number of recent incidents, some of which have been very serious in nature.
  • Following these incidents, we have sought and received advice from relevant consultants and from the authorities. We have a responsibility now to act upon this advice.
  • The changes involved have been discussed openly with local representatives, and communicated in local media, over the last 12 weeks. We also plan to attend a forthcoming council meeting (Tuesday 5 September at 7:00 pm in the Abington Institute main hall) for further dialogue.
  • The changes being made at this time are limited to our security arrangements, we fully intend to continue to contribute to local organisations, support local charities and events, and to provide custom to local businesses and associates.
  • In addition to the above, we continue to investigate options for a public access scheme and we are hopeful that we will be able to offer an option in this area in the future. We have also already made arrangements for a number of local interest groups to continue to have access to the park via modified arrangements.
  • In summary, we regret that this change has become necessary and we welcome further constructive dialogue with interested parties regarding our future interactions.
At around the same time, Bancroft Park Farm erected a fence and gate across the old drive, at the entry to Sluice Wood from the Bourn Bridge Road fields, so the whole wood is closed off to vehicular traffic. They have issued this statement:
  • Bancroft Farm is continuing to permit access to the riverside walk (which is insured for public access) between the permitted access signs but consider the rest of the wood to be private, including the clearing next to the old ‘coach road’. Bancroft Farm has erected a fence to prevent unknown vehicles and caravans from entering their land along the ‘coach road’ and, in particular, from crossing the bridge, which is in poor repair. They have no plan to lock the gate but reserve the right to do so in future.

Last updated on 12 August 2017.