Time called on Hatter Lane - gates may lock in June
Boston's troublesome Hatter Lane is now just one step away from being closed by locked gates at both ends.
On Wednesday Boston Borough Council's Cabinet agreed to recommend to the full council meeting on April 27 that a decision should be taken to restrict public access for three years, commencing in June.
The narrow, winding alley, which links West Street with High Street, has been blighted by anti-social behaviour including street drinking, litter, urination and defecation.
All attempts over the years to cure the problems have failed.
New powers introduced in January give the borough council, for the first time, the ability to "gate" the alley - something which previously only the county council had authority to do.
Gating was requested by local businesses and residents, Lincolnshire Police, and councillors. BTAC (Boston Town Area Committee) has also recommended that a Public Space Protection Order (restricting public right of way over highway) is granted for a maximum of three years .
A consultation exercise was held and no formal objections to the order were received. All of the residential and business owners and other bodies consulted who responded were in support of the order.
The new Public Space Protection Order - also used recently to introduce a town centre street drinking control zone - is the new legislation giving the borough council, for the first time, the power to restrict public rights of way.
It will cost around £1,400 -costs to be met by those residential and business owners affected.
The gates will have keypad access so that those with a reason to use the alley, mainly businesses backing onto it and some residents - can still use it.
Cabinet heard that another nearby lane, Emery Lane, provides a more suitable link for pedestrians between West Street and High Street
Scott Palmer, director at Boston Sausage, which has a shop backing onto Hatter Lane, said it had been a constant battle for many years with defecation, urinating, drug misuse and littering.
He installed CCTV for the safety of his staff coming to work, who, he said, felt continually threatened when walking down Hatter Lane, and also to try and safeguard his premises against damage.
He said every effort had been made by the council to clean up the area and address the issues but had ultimately failed.