RESIDENTS are outraged as a popular beauty spot near the river is fenced off by a 8ft steel fence, seemingly for good.

The impregnable gate popped up at Northwick Lido (known locally as The Slip) at some point last week.

This follows an ongoing dispute between locals and the county council who closed the riverside path back in March due to 'natural erosion.'

Last week Councillor Alan Amos said there were 'no current plans to permanently close the footpath,' but residents believe the installation of the fence is the beginning of the end.

Justin Lee, a local man who has been fighting for the path to be re-opened since it was closed, said: "I think I speak for all of the people who use this footpath when I say it appears that we are not being given all the facts or even the truth.

"A permanent structure is now blocking the path from the horse fields which clearly cost thousands of pounds to erect with no consultation from the council.

"This money should have gone towards the repair work on the footpath.

"The suggestion of a re-route is not the preferred option for the rest of us. We want our footpath back.

"The council stating this collapse is due to natural erosion is laughable. We want clear transparent updates from the council and our voices heard."

Worcester News:

However, according to Worcestershire County Council it is indeed members of the public who have forced them to erect the fence due to 'recent incidents of criminal damage.'

A spokesman for council said: “The fencing being used to safely close this footpath was recently damaged, we have undertaken work to replace and in some places repair this.”

“The path remains closed due to the natural erosion by the river. We are in discussion with relevant parties regarding a resolution, however it is likely the path will remain closed for some time.

"We have been made aware of recent incidents of criminal damage to safety barriers and signage on site, we would like to remind members of the public that the path is legally closed for public safety reasons.

"We would strongly advise against people accessing the site or removing signs whilst the site remains closed, they are risking their own safety and the safety of others.”