Complaints new rugby club barrier is blocking access to homes - and padlock is too high
- Credit: Archant
Elderly residents from a coastal town claim emergency services say they can not access their properties after a height barrier was erected by the local rugby club.
Lowestoft and Yarmouth Rugby Club erected the barrier on Gunton Park Mews in Lowestoft due to traveller incursions onto the rugby ground.
Building of the barrier started on October 9 and, according to residents, was completed two weeks ago.
The rugby club say the barrier has also been erected to protect the residents, but residents claim emergency services can not access their properties due to the height of the barrier being 2.4 metres high.
Residents have each been given a key to unlock the padlock to allow vehicles higher than 2.4 metres to access their properties.
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But one resident, who wished to remain anonymous, says that the key box is 8ft high and a struggle for some residents to access.
They said: “We are all concerned that the padlock is too high up for us to access if larger vehicles or emergency services have to access our properties.
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“We are going to have to use ladders to access the padlock.
“One lady is barely 5 foot high, how on earth is she going to unlock the barrier?
“There are four bungalows and one house at the entrance to our cul-de-sac that are affected by this height barrier.”
Chairman of the rugby club, Russell Wilson, decided to put up the barrier.
He said: “This was never done to cause restrictions to the residents, we are trying to protect them.
“Potential eviction costs for us as a club are just too much so we had to take this decision.
“The barrier allows transit vans to come through and emergency services have been given an unlock code if they need to get through the barrier.”
Joe Blackmore, Principal Planning Officer at East Suffolk Council has recommended the rugby club apply for retrospective planning permission.
He said: “Officers from the LPA have visited the site to inspect the barrier. I can confirm that it requires planning permission, because it is over two metres in height.
“I have contacted representatives from the rugby club to advise of this, and I anticipate that a retrospective planning application will be made in due course seeking planning permission to retain the development carried out.”