Felixstowe: Victory for residents after Garrison Lane path barricades removed

RESIDENTS are celebrating victory today after their campaign to stop a right of way being fenced off ended with the barricades being taken down.

After the former military road was blocked to prevent gangs of youngsters meeting and indulging in anti-social behaviour, some householders were not happy because it meant rear access to their properties was restricted.

They threatened legal action and today the two fences across part of one end of the path – which runs between the backs of homes from Garrison Lane to Penfold Road in Felixstowe – have been removed.

Philip and Chris Macgregor say they acted with the best intentions and did not mean to upset anyone, and secured the support of police, anti-social behaviour officers and immediate neighbours before fencing off the pathway.

Their long-term intention was to have gates with keys for all residents, but now they have abandoned the project.

Mrs Macgregor, of Garrison Lane, said: “We are really disappointed it has turned out like this.

“Our biggest concern was the youngsters gathering in the alleyway and, because some of them were smoking, the risk of fire – especially as we have young children next door.”

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The pathway has also suffered vandalism with damage to fences and a garage, adults and young people using it as a toilet, and the place covered in litter and dogs’ mess, as well as security problems for homes backing onto it.

Steve Laflin, of St Andrews Road, said the 10ft wide alleyway was on people’s house deeds, which said it was a right of way for householders and should be kept open.

With support of other residents, he organised for a solicitor’s letter to be sent to the Macgregors, telling them to remove the fences or they would face court action.

“We approached the police initially and they said it was a civil matter but also that we could not remove the fence ourselves as that would be criminal damage, so we decided to ask a solicitor to take action and send them a stiff letter,” he said.

“Several people have been very frustrated by having the alley fenced off.”

“We are glad to see the fences are gone and we hope that is the end of the matter,” said Peggy Clarke, of St Andrews Road.

? Should the path have been closed off? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN, or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk