Why gate the lane?
Alley gating involves the installation of key-operated lockable gates to the end of alleyways, which restrict access to the wider public. Gating is seen as an effective method to prevent or reduce crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB). Although rear lanes can be useful routes and access to properties, they can also afford opportunities for burglary, flytipping and other crimes, and provide escape routes for offenders. There is high demand for gating schemes in Cardiff and funding is limited. However, based on the levels of crime and ASB associated with your lane we have determined that a gating scheme should be explored further.
Why might gating not be possible?
The decision to gate the lane will depend on a number of considerations, including:
- Whether there is enough local support.
- The nature and number of objections received
- Technical aspects (some lanes do not readily lend themselves to gating)
- Legal limitations (for instance local access requirements, highway status and ownership)
- Funding limitations
The council would ideally look to gate an entire lane. Where this is not possible, partial gating may be considered if the effect of gating would still be significant. Each case will be considered on its own merits.
How long will it take before gates go in?
If the proposal is supported by the local residents / owners, we would then begin a process to obtain a legal order to allow gated to be installed. This process allows the wider public to comment on the proposal and can take several months to complete. Under the legislation, the Council is required to hear any objections before reaching a decision whether to proceed with gating.
What about access to my property?
Owners and occupiers of properties adjoining the gated area would still be able to gain access, keys can be provided to them. A legal order may be applied to restrict public access at all times, or at specified times. For instance, local businesses may need access for customer parking during business hours. An agreement would need to be reached with that business to open and close the gates at the stated times. Please note that the alley status would still remain as an adopted highway. This means that the Council would retain its responsibilities for maintaining the lane and the gates. However, the local owners/residents would be expected to manage the opening and closing of the gates.
Would the Gates be installed indefinitely?
In most cases the Council will aim to obtain the Order for the maximum period of 3 years. However, the Council can seek to extend the Order by up to 3 years each time it nears the expiry date, if it is satisfied that there is a high likelihood that crime & ASB will return if the gates are removed. The Council relies on local residents ensuring the gates are secured after use. Residents also need to report any faults with the gates to the Council. In extreme cases where gates continue to be left open, or are repeatedly targeted by vandalism, the gates may become ineffective against crime & ASB, or prove unreasonably costly to maintain. In these situations the Council may decide to remove the gates.