Controversial railings row is finally over

Caistor alley
Caistor alley

A costly public inquiry over a controversial set of railings has been narrowly avoided after objectors struck a deal with the council.

A row erupted between Caistor Town Council, Lincolnshire County Council and three residents after plans were unveiled to take down railings and a gate between Buttermarket and Plough Hill and make the alleyway a right of way.

The railings and gate were put up to stop anti-social behaviour at a time when the alleyway was not a public right of way.

And objectors were not happy with plans for their removal.

Following months of tense negotiations between residents and both councils, all objections have now been lifted.

Caistor Town Council said it would consider allowing a gateto be put back up should anti-social behaviour become a problem again.

And they agreed to contribute up to £200, sourced through grant funding, towards the cost of reinstating the structure.

Lincolnshire County Council definitive map officer Andrew Pickwell said: “The objections have now been withdrawn, which means that alleyway can be recognised as a public footpath.

“Minor repairs will need to be made before the route is officially opened up to the public.

“These should be carried out shortly.

“Major works will be undertaken on the passageway next year to ensure that the route will have a surface suitable for public use for many years to come”

One Caistor resident, who did not want to be named, said: “I’m very pleased it’s coming down.

“It’s very good - they really were an eyesore.

“And a lot of hard work has been done by organisations to make Caistor look better.”

The railings and gate were put up by Jonathan Holt back in 2008 after his tenants became troubled by anti-social behaviour.

Police reports showed there had been several incidents of anti-social behaviour before the structure was erected.

But many residents refused to believe this, describing anti-social behaviour as an “illusion” and a “red herring”.