St Ives waste ground ‘not a footpath’
THERE is no footpath between Laburnum Way and Kingsbrook that will close (Letters, March 21).
For those that know the area, there is a large green and a strip of waste ground between numbers 4 and 6 Kingsbrook. This is clear from the council’s own definitive maps. Huntingdonshire District Council approved the closure of the waste ground in 2010. Due planning process was completed, with local residents given the opportunity to voice concerns, as is common practice with planning applications.
The closure has no impact on the large green. At town and district council levels, support for closure was given, which included a letter from the police.
One particular resident, however, who lives further along Kingsbrook, took exception and has led a campaign to stop the closure by applying for a public right of way. The county council is processing the application and will report shortly.
I have spoken to the safer-routes-to-school department and spoken to the head of St Ivo School. The letter suggests the closure would affect “safer routes” to St Ivo School. This is completely false as anyone who knows the area would know.
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I have invited the head of St Ivo School to see the area concerned, and he has promised to investigate further. I have had a similar response from the safer-routes-to-school department. who were surprised they had been mentioned.
Interestingly, I am aware of at least one other school being asked to support the public right of way application on the basis of safer-routes-to-school despite not being in the catchment area.
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The letter also indicates that ‘neighbours’ are in support of his right of way application. Let me be clear that during the original application to close the land off every resident surrounding the land and affected by the anti-social behaviour wrote a letter of support to close it.
There might be the odd neighbour to Mr Penfold who supports him, but they do not use nor are affected by its use. I live at 4 Kingsbrook and I can assure you that I and my neighbours certainly are.
When Mr Penfold uses the word ‘alleged’ in his letter, I have a list of crime numbers as proof that one instance of ASB is not correct: smashed windows, garden furniture, greenhouses, and persistent smashing of the fences are just a few instances that have been reported to the police, not to mention the numerous occasions we’ve had to witness people urinating, selling drugs and even copulating.
When the Police have visited they say that we shouldn’t have to put up with this.
While I appreciate everyone has the right to a fair hearing, I do not agree that misinformation should be used in this way to try to dupe people into supporting their own agenda.
Next time I am asked to sign a petition for something I know little about, I will certainly think again.
What is most galling to me is that, even with the land closed off, a tarmac footpath is located very close by, which allows full access to the green space for anyone who chooses.