Beds, Herts & Bucks

Getty grandson's Chiltern bridleway fence plan 'unpleasant'

Bridleway and Twigside Farm Image copyright Graham Horn/Geogragh
Image caption The bridleway runs alongside Twigside Farm, owned by Tara Getty

Ramblers and cyclists have criticised "strange" plans by a member of the Getty family to alter an "exquisite" bridleway in the Chilterns.

Tara Getty - a grandson of oil tycoon J Paul Getty - wants to add deer fencing, which would divert the path beside his farm at Ibstone, Buckinghamshire

Opens Spaces Society has said it would create narrow "pinch points" and make the route unpleasant for users.

The county council said the altered path would inconvenience the public.

The BBC has tried to reach Mr Getty for comment.

The bridleway forms part of a longer route through the village and is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

'Hemmed in'

Kate Ashbrook, of Open Spaces Society, said the 1.8m (5ft 9in) fencing would run alongside the path and then across it, moving the bridleway off-line.

"It's very strange," she added.

"You've got this lovely bridleway, a very direct old route and there seems to be absolutely no reason why people should be shoved out of the way.

"This will create pinch points - the view will be spoilt and you feel hemmed in."

Forcing users to proceed in single file on the altered sections would add to the impression that the area was private, the county council added.

A sign already warns about CCTV and an unofficial notice suggests a longer route further from the house.

Image copyright Patrick Lichfield
Image caption Tara Getty's parents, Sir John Paul Getty and Talitha Pol, photographed at their home in Marrakesh for Vogue in 1970
Image copyright Express Newspapers
Image caption Tara Getty at three weeks old in the arms of his mother, Talitha Pol, who died in 1971
Image copyright Keystone
Image caption Grandfather J Paul Getty, pictured in 1962 with his secretary Robina Lund, was an American oil tycoon with a mansion in Surrey. He died in 1976.

Cycling UK has also written to Wycombe District Council, pointing out that narrowing the bridleway could create "conflict" on the path.

Mr Getty - whose full name is Tara Gabriel Gramophone Galaxy Getty - is 50 and the son of British-born billionaire Sir John Paul Getty, who died in 2003.

Sir John Paul's father was American industrialist J Paul Getty, whose name was synonymous with vast wealth.

The county council has told the district council that it should reject the proposal under the Highways Act 1980.

A decision is expected to be made in the new year.

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