RESIDENTS of a St Ives' passage are to launch a High Court challenge in a bid to retain the right to secure the area at night. Neighbours in Cow and Hare Passage, which connects The Broadway and East Street, claim they have been subjected to a string of anti-social incidents caused by drunken, and criminal behaviour. The residents had sought to tackle the late-night problems by closing and locking a gate at one end of the passage - sparking protests from other people who have used the passage for years as a through route to St Ives town centre. Cambridgeshire County Council sought to make the passage a public right of way, which would in theory prevent residents from blocking the passage without special permission. The problem came to a head at a public inquiry last month when a planning inspector sided with the council and agreed Cow and Hare Passage should be included on its definitive map of public rights of way. However, residents are preparing to fight back. Tony Webster, one of the principal objectors who owns a number of properties in the passage, has confirmed there will be an appeal against the inspector's decision. He said making the passage a public right of way infringed the residents' human rights. The inspector said rights conferred under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights were tempered by the necessity to consider the rights of others, in this case the public's right to continued enjoyment of a highway. Mr Webster added it was unfortunate more money had to be spent on an appeal but the situation had left them no choice. He said the council could not guarantee a traffic regulation order would be made and that could leave residents without any safety measures at night.