Huntingdonshire District Council has produced a new enhancement proposal for the pathways and cycleways in Riverside Park and Regatta Meadow, St Neots. Following a successful CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) application for improvements to the footway and cycles paths connecting to and through the park, the planning process of the final proposal will begin in late March 2022. Work will begin in the summer subject to achieving planning permission.
The proposal is designed to enhance the existing routes within the parks and make major improvements to the area, ensuring that the biodiversity and ecological make-up of the area is fully factored into the plans. The key elements are:
moving (inland), widening and resurfacing of riverside pathways
replacing and widening bridges
replacing existing lighting with new LEDs
installing handrails to the existing footbridge
installing new bench pads
installing 10 new benches.
Executive Leader of the council, Cllr Ryan Fuller, said: "We know that Riverside Park has been a great benefit for local people, particularly over the last couple of years, and this heavy usage and its role as a major part of the defensive flood plains for the area has meant that the footpath infrastructure in the park has degraded at an accelerated pace. This investment will not only address wear and tear but enhance the pathways and cycle routes to encourage greater and wider use of the park, as well as making it easier for people to travel to the town centre on foot or by bike."
The investment in the St Neots Riverside Park pathways and infrastructure is in line with the St Neots Neighbourhood Plan, St Neots Master Plan, the District Council’s strategic objectives and Healthy Open Spaces Strategy 2020-2030. Funding of £445,326 has already been assigned towards the project through a successful Community Infrastructure Levy application.
The park occupies a central position within the district’s largest growing market town with an attractive mile-long frontage alongside the River Great Ouse, with over 70% of park users visiting at least once a week. This central position partnered with multiple access points across St Neots makes Riverside Park one of our most popular, well-used and well-loved parks with a key role to play in local pride of place and offering available outdoor space for the wellbeing benefits of residents and visitors.