The Current Plans
The latest plans put forward by the Council in July 2020 have been put on hold pending further discussion with the Friends of Battlemead. This followed the strong opposition from a large number of local groups and individuals.
If they had gone ahead they would have involved a 26 or 30-space car park (the planning application for a likely smaller car park is still in abeyance), a fenced path across the East Field causeway linking to the Thames Path and a further fence opening up a large piece of the East Field and further limiting the protected wildlife area.
These paths would have been in addition to the path around the northern perimeter of the site (which creates the missing link in the Millennium Way, an objective for the Ramblers for many years) and a circular walk around the West Field.
The local wildlife groups, including the RSPB and BBOWT (the local wildlife trust), and many local people all expressed their clear opposition and we were pleased to see it withdrawn. The access issue is due to be revisited in Autumn 2021. Meanwhile we are busy doing what we can to enhance the habitats there with a view to the potential long-term biodiversity gain.