PROPOSALS for a new footpath in Skipton have been put on hold after councillors agreed spending £100,000 of public money would not go down well with residents.

The 'permitted path' would link Gargrave Road to White Hills Lane, passing across the largest residential site in Skipton yet to be developed heard a meeting of Craven District Council.

The land, north of Gargrave Road and west of Park Wood Drive, is owned by the council, is allocated in the Craven Local Plan for housing and includes provision for a 'green corridor'. The path would be part of a Skipton circular walk.

But some councillors at yesterday's policy meeting, including the leader, thought it would be better to leave it for now, and possibly for any future developer of the site to carry out.

David Smurthwaite, strategic manager, planning and regeneration, said there had been no application for building on the site and as yet no developer.

He said the path, which would include tree planting, would gain maturity and add value to the land. It was proposed to hold a consultation and that multiple landowners would need to agree to the scheme.

If agreed by councillors, £100,000 would be allocated from the council's New Homes Bonus money to underwrite the project, with applications made to external funders of up to £200,000.

Cllr David Noland, whose idea it was to bring the Gargrave Road section forward, said it would have wide appeal.

But Cllr Robert Heseltine said he was sure other places in Craven would also like such a footpath and that it should be 'left on the table' for now.

Cllr Sue Metcalfe said it was wrong to consider spending such an amount of money on a path when the meeting had earlier considered payments to residents to help with energy bills.

"I don't think it is the best way to spend £100,000. I think the public perception will not be great; a lot of people are struggling and will be for the next few months and years," she said.

Cllr leader Cllr Richard Foster also thought it would fail to be a popular use of public money.

"At the end of the day, this is money from the public purse going to a footpath in Skipton. I do wonder what people in Grassington would think.There is still plenty of places to walk in Skipton without this one which will cost £100,000."

Cllr Linda Brockbank, former chair of the council's planning committee, said any future developer of the site would have to provide the path anyway because it was in the local plan.