Costly inquiry looms - and it’s all over a set of railings

A costly public inquiry is looking likely after Caistor Town Council has demanded a controversial set of railings should be taken down.

Back in 2008, Jonathan Holt put up gates between the Buttermarket and Plough Hill to stop anti-social behaviour in the alleyway next to his tenants’ homes.

At the time, the alleyway was not a public right of way - but now Lincolnshire County Council has decided it should be.

Three people, including Mr Holt, objected to this, which means its status needs to be decided by a public inquiry.

But county council highways officers negotiated with objectors and came up with a deal - to allow the railings to remain in place so the gate could easily be put back up, should anti-social behaviour become a problem again.

The objectors were happy with this, but the deal needed the backing of the town council - and Caistor Town Council has said it wants the entire structure to be taken down.

At a full council meeting, councillors said they would “consider” allowing a gate to be put back up for up to 12 months, should anti-social behaviour occur.

They agreed to contribute up to £200 - sourced through grant funding - towards the cost of reinstating the structure.

It is not yet known whether the objectors will accept this deal.

Mr Holt told the Rasen Mail he would need “time to think about it”.

Speaking at a public forum held immediately before the meeting, one resident said: “We want it all removed and put back to how it was, at no cost to us, the ratepayers.”

Another resident said: “The illusion of anti-social behaviour is a red herring and I don’t accept that at all.”

Police reports show there had been incidents of anti-social behaviour before the gate was erected.