LIVES could be put at risk if plans to turn a busy bridleway into a road are given the green light, residents have warned.
Proposals to build 61 homes off Newtown Road have been submitted to Worcester City Council and as part of the scheme, developer Northern Trust Company Ltd intends to dig up an existing bridleway to make way for a road, which would be the main access point to the site.
But the plans have provoked outrage from nearby residents as they fear it could increase people’s chances of being hit by a car as the bridleway is heavily used by shoppers and dog walkers.
Anthony Wall, of Aconbury Close, which backs on to the bridleway, said: “That path is used by people going to school and it is used by dog walkers and people with pushchairs.
“It is designated as a bridleway, not a road, so it is not appropriate to change it in my opinion.
Another Aconbury Close resident, who did not want to be named, believed the road would be “dangerous” as he said the plans only included one pavement.
“I am not being a NIMBY – a house is a house and I have got nothing against them,” he said. “But if they are not going to put two pavements then that is a retrograde step because it is constantly used. It will be a disaster area.”
Dan Robb, of Copswood Avenue, was one of a number of residents to call for the access to move further down Newtown Road and link up with Robert Hitchins’ proposed scheme to build 200 homes on the site of the former Ronkswood Hospital.
“I am not against the homes. But my point is that the access they are proposing is dangerous,” he said. “You have three different people owning three bits of land. They have got to work together. There needs to be one road with a proper roundabout.”
A spokeswoman at Worcestershire County Council said: “As the highways authority we will be asked to comment on the suitability of the proposal from a highways’ point of view.
“The bridleway, which is an integral part of the scheme, will be taken into consideration and its status as an existing public highway will remain.”
A spokeswoman, on behalf of Northern Trust, added: “We have worked closely with the local authority, members of the public and key stakeholders on bringing forward these plans for the unused open land at Newtown Road.
“We are confident the proposals will bring increased benefits to the local community and provide future investment for the area.”