Does Kingsley Avenue have Public Access Rights?

Kingsley Avenue

Proposals outlined by the Fairfield Hall Management Company Ltd to restrict vehicle access in Kingsley Avenue to residents, their visitors and delivery people has caused several residents of the Hall and Fairfield Park to question the legality of this proposal.

Their grounds for questioning were all based on historic access to the road that was formerly known as East Drive and linked with North and West Drives.

Enquiries made by councillors show a confusion of answers to this question.  Old Government Ordnance Survey maps show that East Drive did have a public right of way, even though all three roads have always been privately road.

Many people, particularly Arlesey residents, have stated that they used the roads as a shortcut to get to work in Letchworth or get to Stotfold. Stotfold people have stated that they used the road without problem to get to Arlesey.

As such it would mean that the road has a public access under common law.

Central Bedfordshire Council are the keepers of local maps and of rights of way. Their advice to the Parish Council was that, in order that the queries be properly determined, that the Parish Council files documents formerly setting out the facts and peoples’ views.

This we have now done and, in accordance, with the regulations, has served notice of intent on all interested parties.

The Senior Rights of Way officer at Central Bedfordshire Council will now consider the evidence and come to a decision which will be published by him. There follow consultation periods during which people will have a right to contest his decision.

If the decision is contested then the matter is referred to the Secretary of State for the Environment to make a final decision.