Oxhill News

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South Warwickshire, England.

The Oxhill News

February 2004


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Metal Kissing Gates

The erection of the metal kissing gates replacing stiles along the footpath running in an easterly direction from the Churchyard has resulted in an excess of mud, occasioned not by inclement weather, but by the constant movement of boots when passing through the gates.   Furthermore, the condition of the footpath either side of these gates has deteriorated.   Again, they are quite out of keeping with both the immediate and the more distant landscape, especially in this conservation area.

I wrote to the relevant department of the County Council to question the provision of metal kissing gates and received a typical bureaucratic reply that the footpath had been inspected following a complaint (a rambler?) and had been found to be in poor condition (it is far worse now!). The picture is of the kissing gate referred to by Russen. It might look better painted black.  The reply also stated that the primary concern was for adequate stock control (there is no livestock where the gates have been installed), ease of access for walkers (they are not easy and present burn risks when the locking mechanism is frozen), and cost effectiveness (cheap, and they look it!).   The reply also stated that “structures across a public right of way are not subject to planning control, thus planning permission is not required”.   I would question this statement as Oxhill is in a conservation area.

My response, which dealt with the points here mentioned, drew particular attention to the stupidity of claiming ease of access for people with mobility problems when there is a ‘barrier’ at the far end of the bridge.   I also pointed out that if the stiles had to be replaced, the provision of timber wicket gates would be more preferable than the ‘out of keeping’ metal kissing gates.

It is hoped that the Parish Council will take this matter up so as to safeguard the standards of sound rural husbandry in a conservation area.

Russen Thomas

I am informed that the Parish Council have asked the Clerk to contact the County Council about this matter.  Any response will be published.

The picture is of the kissing gate referred to by Russen. It might look better painted black.


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Last modified: June 04, 2004