Alley gating is the installation of steel, self-locking gates to the ends of footpaths and alleyways in residential areas and housing estates, which can help to combat crime and anti-social behaviour, and improve the quality of life for the community in the surrounding area.
The alley gating process is different for highways and non highways. Where a site does not have public access rights the process can be relatively straightforward. For those routes which are identified as public highways, formal closure procedures must be followed:
Once ownership of the land has been established for an alleyway that is not considered a Public Right of Way, the owners of the land can proceed with gating if all are in agreement.
There may be a number of advantages to such a scheme:
- Reduced levels of burglaries
- Reduced opportunities for anti-social behaviour
- Fewer problems of dog fouling by stray dogs
- Safe play areas for children
- Improved community spirit giving a sense of ownership of the alleys
- An on-going maintenance liability and its associated funding
- The occasional need to enable prompt access to others who have lost their keys, or to the Police, emergency services or utilities
- Funding - gating schemes will normally need to be funded by the owner of the alley and/or the householders in the vicinity.
Gating schemes are the responsibility of the homeowners who live around them.
Any route that is an adopted highway, or unadopted highway that is considered to be a Public Right of Way, can only be gated following the formal process of securing a Gating Order.
This power is conferred under Section 2 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, and is available for use by councils who are the highways authority.
A Gating Order is made to prevent or regulate passage along a highway in order to prevent crime or anti-social behaviour.
Gating Orders are temporary – the underlying highways rights endure – and their continued need must be reviewed.
To make a gating order the Council must be satisfied that:
- There is sound evidence that the premises adjacent to the highway are affected by crime or anti-social behaviour, and
- The existence of the highway is facilitating the persistent commission of criminal offences or anti-social behaviour, and
- It is expedient to make the gating order including having regard to its effect on adjoining occupiers, others in the locality and the availability of an alternative route
A Gating Order is not possible for an alley that is the only or principal means of access to any dwelling, or place of business during its normal business hours.
Maintenance arrangements for the alley gates are the responsibility of the district council.
The Operational Partnership Team for the district will be the first point of contact to determine whether there is merit in pursuing a Gating Order.
Below is a register of current Gating Orders.