Villagers try to halt stopping up of road

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Lutton residents are trying to fight off plans by county highways officials to shut off part of a village road popular with dog walkers.

An application by Lincolnshire County Council to stop up a 2,710 square metre part of Monmouth Lane has angered villagers who have accused the highways authority of trying to save “a few bob.”

The stopping up application comes after local farmer David Hoyles put up a gate blocking off entry to part of Monmouth Lane about four years ago after a spate of diesel and machinery thefts.

Mr Hoyles said: “I was advised by local police and community support officers to put the gates up to make access harder for potential thieves.

“I was then contacted by county highways who came down to see me and told me I was obstructing the highway, after which I explained to them that it was recommended by the police.

“No one else uses the road apart from me and my family and the council said I should either apply for a stopping up order or remove the gate.”

A stopping up order is granted by magistrates when a council wants to take a road out of public use and it then becomes the landowner’s responsibility to maintain.

But resident Stephen Goodban of Monmouth Lane is among at least ten people who have objected to the application which will be heard at Spalding Magistrates Court on March 13.

He said: “Local people are quite shocked and angry that, for years, they have been denied access to this land by the putting up of a gate.

“Monmouth Lane is a favourite for dog walkers and others using it for leisure purposes as it offers a good route away from busy traffic and no suitable alternative is available.

“I am concerned that a large part of a well-used public facility could be lost forever just to save county highways a few bob and others who use the road are very annoyed about it.”