Vic­tims of van­dals want all al­ley­ways closed

South Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE - By ADEN MILES

A Toko­roa res­i­dent who fought to close the al­ley­way run­ning be­side his house be­lieves all al­ley­ways in Toko­roa should be closed.

Fol­low­ing Bob and Mar­garet Gabolin­scy’s as­sault from in­di­vid­u­als us­ing the al­ley­way next to their house, pub­lic com­men­tary has been rife around whether al­ley­ways should re­main open.

Sam Big­ger­staff and his wife Sue along with their neigh­bours were suc­cess­ful in clos­ing their al­ley­way in 2010 af­ter years of dis­cus­sions.

Mr Big­ger­staff said life was much eas­ier now. ‘‘It is qui­eter, much qui­eter.’’ The al­ley­way’s clo­sure has given the Big­ger­staffs the van­dal­free life they had al­ways strived for af­ter hav­ing their fences kicked in and ripped apart by youth who used to con­gre­gate in the al­ley­way which runs from the end of Mount­bat­ten Place.

South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil has 55 al­ley­ways open, while 25 have closed over the years.

‘‘I think that they should all be closed,’’ Mr Big­ger­staff said.

Af­ter more than four years fight­ing to have the al­ley­way closed, the Big­ger­staffs re­ceived a let­ter from the coun­cil in 2010 ad­vis­ing the cou­ple that they could close the al­ley­way.

‘‘One day there was a let­ter in the mail say­ing that we could close it. It was a bit of an an­ti­cli­max af­ter four years of try­ing to get it closed. We have never seen any­one from coun­cil come by, to even see the al­ley­way now.’’

How­ever, coun­cil as­sets group man­ager Roger Fisher had ear­lier ex­plained the clo­sure sys­tem as be­ing a po­ten­tially lengthy process.

‘‘In or­der to progress walk­way clo­sure the coun­cil of­ten has to con­fer with as many as six neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties,’’ Mr Fisher said.

‘‘But it is not only these peo­ple that are sur­veyed. Quite of­ten while neigh­bours wish for the walk­way to be closed, there are many other peo­ple who use the walk­way to get to shops or schools; af­ter all Toko­roa was de­signed with many walk­ways for this pur­pose.’’

Within a week of re­ceiv­ing the let­ter the al­ley­way had closed and Mr Big­ger­staff had made the nec­es­sary ad­just­ments to his fence line.

Tell us what you think, should al­ley­ways in Toko­roa be closed or left open?

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