Unlawful gates to go

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In October 2022 the British Horse Society served two notices on North Yorkshire Council, under section 130A of the Highways Act 1980, for the removal of two pairs of large, ornamental gates. These were obstructing either end of an 800-metre restricted byway in Stanwick St John, a small village about five miles north-east of Richmond.

A picture of one pair of large, ornamental gates which are to be removed by July 2024. Photo: Alan Kind

The case was listed for a two-day hearing in York magistrates’ court in April 2024, but this was cancelled because the council accepted that the route was obstructed. Yorkshire magistrates have endorsed an order requiring the council to take enforcement action on the gates if they have not been removed by 3 July 2024, and to pay a contribution of £8,326 towards the BHS’s legal costs.

The society and the Ramblers agreed to take joint action with the BHS in the magistrates’ court and to share the costs.  We are delighted that the matter has been resolved; such gates not only block the way but are also intimidating and make paths appear to be privatised. The society is ready to go to court where necessary to get paths reopened.


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