Grantham neighbour told not to park on footpath following ongoing disputes over vehicular access
A neighbor has been told not to park his vehicle on a footpath as parties involved in an ongoing dispute are trying to move towards a solution.
A meeting was held on Tuesday between the Rector of St Wulfram’s Church, Father Stuart Cradduck, neighbor Peter Escreet and Councilor Richard Davies, the senior motorways portfolio holder at Lincolnshire County Council (LCC).
It was held to discuss vehicle access on the way to the church entrance, which Mr Escreet was accused of blocking with his Land Rover.
Access has been blocked since last month after Mr Escreet claimed vehicles drove illegally on the trail and damaged his property.
However, LCC says there may be vehicle access rights that predate its current responsibility for maintaining the path as a footpath. Although this would prohibit parking, it is understood that residents are entitled to use the path for vehicle access.
Although there are no documents to support this theory, it is hoped that Father Stuart and Mr Escreet can reach an agreement without taking the matter to court, which would ultimately decide.
Coun Davies said: “As with all neighborhood disputes, there are often no fixed rights and wrongs and the best course of action is for people to respect everyone’s needs and concerns so that we can live and work together.
“This is a truly special place in the heart of Grantham and everyone agrees that it needs to be protected for future generations while still functioning well for the here and now.”
Father Stuart said he had “sympathy” for Mr Escreet given the volume of vehicles passing his property and “suggested that as a compromise we would only allow disabled access, supplies and contractors to pull up to the church”.
Mr Escreet – who had agreed to no longer park in the lane – argued that Church Street was of a “reasonable width” as well as a pedestrian walkway to allow vehicles to access the church, so he “didn’t see any reason why that should be the case its shouldn’t be used like that anymore”.
However, Father Stuart said: “This would mean the disturbance and possible exhumation of graves, which I do not advocate, particularly as the disturbance of these graves was unnecessary and, in my view, was not a good use of public funds when a statutory right of way exists.”
Earlier, Mr Escreet had raised concerns about damage caused to the paving outside his property and said he had paid for over £900 in repairs.
LCC said it was “clear damage to the panels has occurred” mainly outside of Mr Escreet’s property and the house next door.
Father Stuart added: “The pavement that was most damaged was found to be directly in front of Mr Escreet’s house and not further up at Church Trees.”
Coun Davies will be speaking to Lincolnshire Police to confirm motorway status and agree on a “reasonable approach to enforcement” should action need to be taken.
All parties involved have agreed to meet again in the spring to continue talks and “find a satisfactory way forward,” according to LCC.