Alleygates at graffiti hotspot

Alleygates planned for graffiti hotspot.
Alleygates planned for graffiti hotspot.

Planning chiefs have given the green light for alleygates to be installed at a graffiti hotspot in Newton - despite complaints from residents.

Councillors on St Helens Council’s planning committee were told the area on Wargrave Road had been blighted by vandals over recent years.

But they were also told to consider opposition to the council’s plan from residents who use the alley as a shortcut on their way to school and other local facilities.

Letters of objection also claimed anti-social behaviour was not a major problem in the area and that the alley had been a right of way for locals for many years.

However, councillors also heard that instances of anti-social behaviour had been reported to council officials, including reports of youths congregating in Winston Avenue.

A report submitted to the meeting stated: “The gating of existing rear alleyways can only be undertaken following a legal process, backed up by substantial crime evidence.”

It also acknowledged that alleygates would extend journey times for some nearby residents but said this could be overcome by requesting to become a key holder.

The report concluded: “The application seeks to increase the security to the rear of residential properties.” Councillors unanimously approved the plans.