Inquiry verdict over Rossendale school's fence to be held in New Year

First published in Helmshore

A ROSSENDALE primary school at the centre of a five-year row over a public right of way after putting up a fence will find out in the New Year if it is in the wrong.

The row over access rights around Helmshore Primary School led to a public inquiry being called.

Bosses at the school put up a fence around the perimeter of the school's playing fields after having problems with dog mess and broken glass.

The fencing blocked access to public footpaths regularly used by local dog walkers which caused friction with local residents.

They argued that villagers had had a 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 them, county council bosses were forced to apply for retrospective planning permission from their own committee.

This application was subsequently withdrawn after the school reduced the fence to two metres, a height permitted under development rights.

However, a public inquiry into access rights around the school was opened in June and has just ended after a three month adjournment.

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Villagers will now find out whether they have won their case when the Secretary of State publishes his decision which is expected in around three months time.

Keith Pilkington, of the Helmshore Action Group, said: “All our witnesses did everything they could to get our point over.”

Comments (2)

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7:24pm Wed 2 Nov 11

SmileyJaney says...

what a load of b@@ls
what a load of b@@ls SmileyJaney
  • Score: 0

2:20pm Sun 20 Nov 11

helmshorebarney says...

I really can't see why anybody would want a footpath going through the school grounds! It goes nowhere and links nothing. It seem like somebody just wants to let their dogs run free on a field, which is fine but think about the dog mess! It seem like the action of a few very selfish people. It's not like there is nowhere around here to let your dog run free, but what a good idea to let them go into school playing fields to have a dump. How many disease does dog excrement spread. These people are out of order. Just walk round or take your dog somewhere else for a dump, not school playing fields.
I really can't see why anybody would want a footpath going through the school grounds! It goes nowhere and links nothing. It seem like somebody just wants to let their dogs run free on a field, which is fine but think about the dog mess! It seem like the action of a few very selfish people. It's not like there is nowhere around here to let your dog run free, but what a good idea to let them go into school playing fields to have a dump. How many disease does dog excrement spread. These people are out of order. Just walk round or take your dog somewhere else for a dump, not school playing fields. helmshorebarney
  • Score: 0

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