Strawberry Line in catch-22

The current Strawberry Line map (picture by the Strawberry Line Association).

The current Strawberry Line map (picture by the Strawberry Line Association). - Credit: Strawberry Line Association

A CYCLE path stretching 30 miles could begin in Clevedon - but campaigners say they are stuck in a catch-22 situation over planning permission.

The Strawberry Lane Association wants to create a traffic-free path from Clevedon to Shepton Mallet and is urging Somerset County Council to grant planning permission so it can be completed.

The plans have been with the authority for the past four years.

Part of the line, from Yatton to Cheddar, already exists and the association’s chairman Paul Harley said the path to Wells is the missing piece in the puzzle.

The council says the organisation needs to confirm funding before planning permission can be granted – but the association says it cannot do that until it has planning permission in place.

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Mr Harley said: “We are in a catch-22 situation.

“We can get the money to build the lane and we have proved we can.

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“The path will be a boost for tourism, with people able to use the line as a link to villages’ cafés and sights.”

A Somerset County Council spokesman said: “We progressed the scheme as far as we could through the planning process in 2009 on behalf of the Strawberry Line Association.

“The association submitted a business plan with a list of potential funding sources in August 2010 with no clear guarantee that this funding could be delivered to secure, build and maintain the scheme.

“Without the funds in place, it would not be appropriate for the county council to progress this planning application while its delivery remains so uncertain.”

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