‘Nuisance’ lane a step closer to being closed off

Hatter Lane.
Hatter Lane.

Senior borough councillors have backed plans that would see gates erected at both ends of a lane in Boston blighted by anti-social behaviour.

Members of Boston Borough Council’s cabinet met on Wednesday to discuss proposals for a so-called Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for Hatter Lane.

Crime minister Mike Penning is shown Hatter Lane by Coun Peter Bedford on his visit to Boston last month.

Crime minister Mike Penning is shown Hatter Lane by Coun Peter Bedford on his visit to Boston last month.

The measure would allow for keypad controlled gates to be installed at both ends of the alleyway, which runs between Bridge Street and High Street, restricting access to businesses and residents only.

The step is being considered in light of numerous reports, received over the last three years, of littering, fly-tipping, urination, defecation and street drinking along its length.

A public consultation found unanimous support for the order, members heard.

Coun Stephen Woodliffe, portfolio holder for regulatory services, described the lane as a ‘serious public nuisance’.

He said: “This has been a burden on the council and a burden on the public for a long time,”

He added: “The measure we have got here is an opportunity to really resolve it and I fully recommend it.”

The cost of the measure, currently estimated at about £1,400, would be met by the affected businesses and residents.

However, Lincolnshire County Council councillor Sue Ransome has agreed to donate £1,000 through the authority’s Big Society Fund for the work, members heard.

Coun Derek Richmond described the proposals as a ‘no brainer’.

He said: “It is a public right of way, but within 10 yards of it there is another public right of way. There is no necessity for anybody else to be down there.”

He added: “This has been ongoing for many years and I think this is the best option to stop it.”

New legislation has given the borough council the power to close off the lane; previously, only the county council could do so.

Members recommended to full council that an order is granted for a maximum of three years.