COLCHESTER’S High Steward has urged owners of office blocks to take down fencing which he claims is stopping people using public paths.

Sir Bob Russell has issued the plea after the six foot metal fences were put up off North Station Road.

The Riverside Office Centre, on the junction of North Station Road and Causton Road in Colchester, is set to be turned into 89 apartments.

The plans were first mooted in 2017 when a bid was submitted by Kames Capital, but as yet no work had got underway.


Sir Bob says the wire fences are blocking the public from being able to use paths linking Riverside Walk with North Station Road and Causton Road.

He says pedestrians are entitled to the right of access which has been used for more than 50 years.

“I can remember these four office blocks being built when I was in my late teens,” he said.

“Throughout the more than 50 years which have elapsed I can state with total confidence there has never been an occasion when the public has been stopped from using these paths.


“From Causton Road and North Station Road they form a seamless continuation, while from Riverside Walk the path has been deliberately constructed to take pedestrians from the public footpath next to the river over the flood protection bank to the paths which then go either to North Station Road or Causton Road.”

Sir Bob said while the land itself is privately owned, in law the paths – and also access through the entire car parking area – now had an established public right of way.

A spokesman for Kames Capital said the fencing had been put up as a deterrent against vandalism, drug taking and anti-social behaviour.

He said: “The fence also ensures the site is safe and secure ahead of any potential redevelopment. The fencing does not restrict access to the river walkway as access can still be gained from the main road.

“It is only a temporary measure until such time as the redevelopment of the site is completed.”