December 19 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
A horse enthusiast is locked in a bitter row with a Norfolk primary school over use of his fields.
Kelvin Hewitt-Allard, 58, lives behind Cantley Primary School, with his horse fields adjoining its sports pitches.
He said he granted the school access 15 years ago, on the proviso it was used for monthly grass cutting and once a year letting an ice cream van and bouncy castle through for sports day.
But the School Lane resident claims things have escalated since the school was extended, with 30 pupils becoming more than 100.
He alleges a stream of lorries have churned up his fields, contractors have smashed his fences and children use it as a regular route to school.
Mr Hewitt-Allard, who builds horse show jumps, blocked off the access with an electric fence, and was subsequently threatened with legal action by Norfolk County Council
“I would never have moved here if I knew it would be like this,” he said. “For us it’s the school from hell.”
He and his wife Janette, 48, said the saga has caused them a great deal of stress, and claimed some parents with children at the school have intimidated them.
And he fears a child could be injured by one of his six horses if they keep using the route to get to classes.
“We haven’t got riding class ponies,” he noted. “We’ve got competition horses and they’re fed to the point of being hyper.
“They’re not going to just go up and lick them, and the school does not accept any responsibility for this.”
He said he hoped to resolve the situation amicably, but that after every meeting the county council does not “keep up its side of the deal”.
And he alleged the school has other means of access, but opts to use his fields instead.
A Norfolk County Council spokesman said there is a right of way across the Hewitt-Allard’s land.
“There is a condition attached to this route that access needs to be maintained at all times and for all purposes related to the school,” added the spokesman. “The only other access to the school site involves a series of steps, so the right of way across the Hewitt-Allard’s land is the only fully accessible route to the school and would be the main access for emergency vehicles.
“This is unfortunately a long-standing dispute which has caused both the Hewitt-Allards and successive school staff some distress over the years.
“We have met with the couple in the past and have tried to find amicable and conciliatory solutions to resolve the situation and this would still be our preference.
“However the Hewitt-Allards have blocked access to the school on a couple of occasions now and we are considering our options including the possibility of taking legal action on behalf of the school, its staff and its pupils.”