Access road through Sutton Lawn to be closed

Sutton Lawn
Sutton Lawn

An access route through Sutton Lawns is set to be closed to through traffic.

At a meeting of Ashfield District Council's cabinet meeting today (October 7), councillors voted in favour of a motion to close the access route through Sutton Lawn Park, and retain the pedestrian public right of way.

A report for the cabinet to consider stated: "An increasing population and congested roads are encouraging more car users to take a short cut through the public open space, increasing the risk in particular to children and wheelchair/ mobility scooter users."

The access route runs through the park, which includes a cafe, play facilities, a skate park, gym and car park.

The report states that the closure of the road will create an improved environment for park users with reduced noise and traffic fumes.

It will also contribute towards reducing anti-social behaviour from late night vehicular activity through the park.

The report continues: "If vehicles continue to have access to the route, it will need to be fully resurfaced in the next five years in the next five years at a cost of £70-80k."

Following a public consultation in 2016, 31 residents raised concerns over public safety, speeding and anti-social behaviour, and were in favour of restricting access.

Councillor Helen Ann Smith said: "We have been trying to have the road closed for many years now - It's a danger to users of the site.

"A consultation of residents and users of the site showed that they were happy to have the road closed.

"Some concerns have been raised about emergency services using the road, but we will be giving them keys for the gate. They don't tent to use the site as an access route.

"We've had so many issues with anti-social behaviour, and boy racers using it as a cut though."

Councillor Jason Zadrozney, leader of the council said at the meeting: "We've been plagued for a while by travellers coming onto the site - the district has had to pick up the bill for cleaning.

"As of last week we took the unilateral decision as a council to put bollards on the county council land on the left hand side.

"We paid for the £15,000 of bollards to be installed.

"We are now leasing the land from the county council so we are able to do work to it.

Councillor Kier Bardsby added: "I welcome this motion to the council. It's been a long time coming - 1975 was the first time it was brought into this chamber to have it closed and it was voted out.

"It's going to help pedestrians and children who use the park."