Council could close ‘Black Path’

Chris Scaith of Hartlepool Borough Council pictured at the Grayfields footpath.
Chris Scaith of Hartlepool Borough Council pictured at the Grayfields footpath.

A PATH alongside allotments where pigeons were slaughtered could be closed because of “criminal activity”.

Hartlepool Borough Council is seeking views on proposals to permanently close a route known locally as The Black Path.

It borders the southern end of Grayfields Recreation Ground and the northern end of Chester Road Allotments, and runs from Thornhill Gardens to Jesmond Gardens.

The call to permanently close the path has come from Chester Road Allotment Association, which says plot holders are suffering from persistent anti-social behaviour because of it.

The Hartlepool Mail reported how pigeons were sickeningly skewered on top of fences at the beginning of March and vandals smashed up allotments, leading to calls for the path to be shut.

Plot holder Katrina Irvine, 40, who works at Stranton Pets, said at the time: “It’s good for children to walk through for school, but other than that it’s just used by dog walkers who don’t pick up their mess and people targeting the allotments.

“It needs to be closed all the time to stop this sort of thing happening again.”

Chris Scaife, the council’s countryside access officer, is urging more people to comment on the proposal to shut off the path.

He said: “There have been a number of anti-social behaviour incidents and criminal activity in this area, including arson and animal cruelty attacks on allotments.

“We have received a request from the Chester Road Allotment Association to permanently close the path and we feel that this proposal should be considered openly and fairly.

“In recent months we have consulted local councillors who had no objection to the proposal and now we want to hear the views from the wider community.” 

People have until Friday, June 8, to comment.

They can do so by writing to Freepost RRKX–EAEY–YBZK, Path Closure Proposal, Parks and Countryside Section, Hartlepool Borough Council, Church Street Offices, 1 Church Street, Hartlepool, TS24 7DS.

People can also email rightsofway@hartlepool.gov.uk with their responses.