Railings row could cost you thousands

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Taxpayers face funding a public inquiry costing thousands of pounds if Caistor Town Council does not back down in an argument over railings.

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, have objected to this, which means its status will have to be decided by a public inquiry.

Desperate to avoid an expensive inquiry, highways officers at the county council have negotiated with the objectors and come up with a deal - but it needs the backing of the town council.

County council officers have agreed to allow the railings to remain in place so they can easily be put back up, should anti-social behaviour become a problem again.

But a county council highways officer told the Rasen Mail Caistor Town Council had suggested it wanted the entire structure of the gate to be taken down.

Mr Holt said: “The gates would only be closed at night if anti-social behaviour became a problem again.

“The owners of the buildings are currently in talks with highways to resolve the issue and thereby avoid causing the elderly residents of Caistor the considerable stress of speaking a public inquiry, as they would have to attend to give their evidence personally.

“I want to avoid a public inquiry.

“This will cost the taxpayer, i.e the people of Caistor, tens of thousands of pounds in addition to the stress mentioned, despite LCC highways advice to initially remove the gate only.”

Caistor Town Council has refused to comment until the issue is discussed at its next meeting.

The meeting will take place in Caistor Town Hall on Thursday, February 14 at 7pm.