Objections to alley closure plans

Proposals to close off an alleyway in Peterborough city centre have been slammed after a planning application was submitted to the council.

Saturday, 2nd April 2016, 10:37 am
Updated Saturday, 2nd April 2016, 10:41 am
Guildhall Walk
Guildhall Walk

The plans to shut off Guildhall Walk - which links Priestgate and Cathedral Square - were submitted by Barclays Bank.

The proposals would see the walkway open during office hours - but shut to pedestrians and cyclists at night.

Barclays Bank hope the plans will reduce the amount of anti-social behaviour staff at the city centre branch suffer, as well as stop graffiti being scrawled on the walls. Workers also found used drug needles and even human excrement in the passage.

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The alleyway was closed in December, but then re-opened when it was revealed planning permission was needed.

But chairman of Peterborough Civic Society, David Turnock said: “Guildhall Walk is a long-established public thoroughfare for pedestrians and cyclists on foot we strongly believe that it has acquired Public Right Of Way status by reason of continuous usage over a substantial period of time.

“The Civic Society thinks it essential for this route to stay open for the benefit of all those who use the city centre.”

Mr Turnock added the society believed the plans to put cladding over mesh gates would not fit in with the city centre scene.

The plans have also been objected to by sustainable transport charity Sustrans.

Matthew Barber, programme manager for the charity said: “We have looked at the legalities, and our view is that it has been an established thoroughfare for many years, and has acquired right of way status as a result.

“While we don’t have statistics, it seems it is used hundreds of times every day.

“It is an especially important route given the Bridge Street cycling ban. The route was highlighted as a possible alternative to Bridge Street, even if it means getting off and pushing the bike.

“We are active on social media, and with the Peterborough Cycle Forum, and lots of people have said ‘this cannot happen.’”

Residents can comment on the proposals by visiting www.peterborough.gov.uk.

A date for a planning meeting has not yet been set.