Furious residents of a Northampton street returned home to find their back gates led directly to...a brand new security fence, erected while many were at work.
On Monday, people living in Holdenby Road, Kingsthorpe, say they were shocked to find Northampton Borough Council had put up the 8ft tall structure just inches from their back gates, around the perimeter of St Davids Allotments.
The council says the committee running the plots have been calling for extra security for a number of years - but the 10 properties affected on Holdenby Road say they pose no security risk whatsoever. Most of the houses have back gates which allow residents to walk straight out to the green allotment site.
One person had been doing so for more than 50 years.
It is understood six of the residents even held plots at St Davids, which they can now only access by walking half-a-mile.
“We had no formal notification about it,” said one resident who did not wish to be named.
“We only found out about it on Monday morning, just before they started work.”
Another resident the Chron spoke to said the metal fence is so close to their back gates, they now cannot paint or maintain their own fence.
“We would have happily paid for a locked gate to be installed so we could still walk out there,” said another.
And another woman said: “This is supposed to be for the community. Some of us keep chickens on there. For me I feel it has devalued my property as well.
“We just want to know why.”
Northampton Borough Council says the St David’s committee called for the security fence because there had been “thefts of machinery and produce”, though one Holdenby Road resident said it was “outrageous” to punish them for the crimes.
A spokeswoman for the council said: “St David’s Committee have requested a fence on this site for a number of years, but have never had the funding for it. Funding has now been allocated from Northampton Borough Council and the committee and local residents have welcomed the fence. Not all of the houses that back on to the site have an allotment plot and residents in these houses, with gardens that reach the allotments, should not be accessing this area from their property. Only plot holders are permitted on site.”