Toggle mobile menu visibility

Alley gating

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:

Non-highway routes

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

Disadvantages include:

  • 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.


Alley gating on the highway can be installed if a PSPO (Public Spaces Protection Order) under section 64 of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 is granted.

A PSPO can be made in order to prevent or regulate passage along a highway in order to prevent crime or anti-social behaviour.

Any non-classified route that is an adopted highway, or un-adopted highway that is considered to be a Public Right of Way, can only be gated following the formal process of securing a PSPO.

If you would like to discuss this further, please contact your local District, Borough or Norwich City Council in the first instance.

There are disadvantages to having alley gates installed. They can prevent access for inspections and repairs to the highway and also to street lighting furniture, which could pose a danger to users. Norfolk County Council is responsible for both of these areas of maintenance and will take this into account when considering the legal order required to grant the PSPO.

If installed, maintenance arrangements for the alley gates are the responsibility of the District, Borough or Norwich City Council and all reports of damage should be sent direct to them.

Share this page

Facebook icon Twitter icon Email icon


Print icon