‘Nightmare’ path proposed closure

The footpath in Punchbowl Lane. DD
The footpath in Punchbowl Lane. DD

A COUPLE living a ‘nightmare’ of anti-social behaviour for the last 10 years and wishing they had never moved to Boston say victory is finally in sight.

Joe and Ann Nash, of Punchbowl Lane, have been plagued by criminal activity since moving into their property which adjoins what they describe as a ‘rat run’.

But last week Boston Borough Council’s policy and projects committee voted to close the footpath, which gives access to Ingelow Avenue and surrounding estates.

Despite having a kissing gate and solid surface, the walkway has never been formally adopted, according to the authority’s head of housing, property and communities Andy Fisher.

Mrs Nash, 62, told The Standard: “We are absolutely over the moon. It is a long-awaited victory; we have waited for this for 10 years.

“It is a rat run and we are the prime targets. You wouldn’t believe the amount of damage we have had over the years. It is like living a nightmare.”

Over the years, Mrs Nash and her husband, who has been left disabled after suffering two strokes, have reported numerous acts of anti-social behaviour, including criminal damage. The pair were left devastated in 2009 when the property was burgled and every room was damaged – forcing the couple out of their home for six months.

“I didn’t want to come back, but Joe said we couldn’t let them win,” said Mrs Nash.

She explained what should have been a dream move some 13 years ago was soured before they had even had chance to unpack their belongings.

“We pulled up with the removal lorry and the gentleman who was selling the house was there with the keys and told us ‘I’m so glad to be going – my life has been hell’. But it was too late for us then,” she said. “If I realised Boston was going to be like this I wouldn’t have moved here.”

The committee decided to seek to close the footpath after hearing the plight of Mr and Mrs Nash and following the results of a survey conducted by the council canvassing the opinions of users.

The proposal will next go before the decision-making cabinet, which can effectively close the site off overnight.

Interested parties will be able to appeal any decision to Lincolnshire County Council.

l What do you think? Email stephen.stray@jpress.co.uk.