Inquiry into controversial Rossendale school fence

DIVIDED The fence around the car park and playing fields at Helmshore Primary

DIVIDED The fence around the car park and playing fields at Helmshore Primary

First published in Helmshore Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by , Crime reporter

A ROSSENDALE primary school has become the subject of a public inquiry five years after blocking off its playing fields which were used as a village green.

Bosses at Helmshore Primary School erected a two-metre high fence around the perimeter of the school's playing fields after having problems with dog mess and broken glass.

The fence caused friction with local residents who argued villagers had had right of way on the site at Gregory Fold for more than 70 years.

Lancashire County Council which owns the land erected the fencing without permission but after a 900 signature petition was presented to the town hall, county council bosses were forced to apply for retrospective planning permission from their own committee.

Councillors refused the application after 100 residents turned up to show their disapproval.

A public Inquiry started this week to decide the fate of the fence.

Keith Pilkington, of Helmshore Action Group fighting against the fencing said: “The public have had right of way on this site for many years and it is very important that this right of way is not lost. Members of the action group have even dug into their own pockets to pay for a barrister.”

The inquiry is expected to last four days, concluding in October at Ashday Lea, Rawtenstall.

County Councillor Susie Charles, Cabinet Member for Children and Schools, said: “The county council erects fences primarily because of children's safety and security.

"There are clear dangers attached to having open unsupervised access to primary school playing fields, and we need to be able to stop children from wandering.”

Comments (7)

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12:45am Sun 31 Jul 11

removalman1 says...

typical council. if you had a council house with no fence and you asked for a fence, would they supply one if you said your own kids could wander?
typical council. if you had a council house with no fence and you asked for a fence, would they supply one if you said your own kids could wander? removalman1
  • Score: 0

1:42pm Sun 31 Jul 11

Keep Darwen Green says...

Local residents have the right to let their children play with as much dog excrement as they like, they can even pretend they are long cargo trains, and link them together like they used to when they were young.
I don't know you just can't let them be kids any more!
Local residents have the right to let their children play with as much dog excrement as they like, they can even pretend they are long cargo trains, and link them together like they used to when they were young. I don't know you just can't let them be kids any more! Keep Darwen Green
  • Score: 0

5:41pm Sun 31 Jul 11

HelmshoreBoy says...

The clogs on the other foot when the school are asking the parents and children to suuport the school at fund raising events. Why not a little give and less take for once.
The clogs on the other foot when the school are asking the parents and children to suuport the school at fund raising events. Why not a little give and less take for once. HelmshoreBoy
  • Score: 0

1:39am Wed 3 Aug 11

mr compo says...

Keep Darwen Green wrote:
Local residents have the right to let their children play with as much dog excrement as they like, they can even pretend they are long cargo trains, and link them together like they used to when they were young.
I don't know you just can't let them be kids any more!
class- made me giggle, nice one
[quote][p][bold]Keep Darwen Green[/bold] wrote: Local residents have the right to let their children play with as much dog excrement as they like, they can even pretend they are long cargo trains, and link them together like they used to when they were young. I don't know you just can't let them be kids any more![/p][/quote]class- made me giggle, nice one mr compo
  • Score: 0

10:10pm Wed 3 Aug 11

mys says...

Well the head at that school thinks she can do what she wants.
Well the head at that school thinks she can do what she wants. mys
  • Score: 0

10:14pm Wed 3 Aug 11

mys says...

Oh and by the way,children wouldnt be able to wander off the school premises if the teachers did there job right and superviced them at all times.
Oh and by the way,children wouldnt be able to wander off the school premises if the teachers did there job right and superviced them at all times. mys
  • Score: 0

10:15am Fri 26 Aug 11

Rogi says...

The "right of way" only exists because the wooden fence near St. Thomas' church keeps getting broken down.

Helmshore Action Group is not representative of Helmshore, merely the vociferous few, particularly those whose gardens back onto the playing fields, who don't like the look of the fence, and who have been offended by the headteacher's attitude.

I believe that Keith Pilkington is one of these people, Also is he not a solicitor or barrister or some kind of legal gent? Who paid for a barrister? Who was the barrister?
The "right of way" only exists because the wooden fence near St. Thomas' church keeps getting broken down. Helmshore Action Group is not representative of Helmshore, merely the vociferous few, particularly those whose gardens back onto the playing fields, who don't like the look of the fence, and who have been offended by the headteacher's attitude. I believe that Keith Pilkington is one of these people, Also is he not a solicitor or barrister or some kind of legal gent? Who paid for a barrister? Who was the barrister? Rogi
  • Score: 1

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