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Werrington Fence installation on pause for review into legalities

Controversial plans to fence off part of a community field in Werrington have been paused while a review of the legal situation takes place.
Aerial review 14
The controversial Werrington Fields

Peterborough City Council’s plans for a 2.4 metre fence on the fields near Ken Stimpson Community School received planning permission in March, but these have been widely criticised by the Save Werrington Fields pressure group

The fence, enclosing an area of 46,000 square metres and costing £74,000, was the subject of a plan submitted because of safeguarding concerns during the field's use by pupils at Ken Stimpson Community School.

The pressure group recently gained the Land Registry deeds for Werrington fields and believed a Restrictive Covenant meant that the decision to allow fencing of the fields could be 'unlawful', although this was rejected by Peterborough City Council, which owns the land.

The council then said that the fenced area will now be only 2 metres in height, and will remain unlocked, meaning the land will be accessible to members of the public at all times.

And amid criticisms from security experts and the threat of a crowdfunded legal challenge the council has now backed off for a month, to assess the situation.

A spokesperson for PCC said: “We have taken the decision to undertake a thorough review of the legal situation to ensure that we have a clear and definitive legal response to the challenges which some residents have continued to raise regarding the historic, current and future use of the site.   

“Pending receipt of this report and officers’ consideration of the conclusions, all other work in respect of the plans for erection of the fence have been placed on hold.  

“We expect to be in a position to provide an update on the situation by the end of January 2021.” 

Last week Chief executive Gillian Beasley sent out an email update to some of the stakeholders involved, saying that she "appreciated the very strong feelings about this matter" 

She added: "Please be assured, therefore, that no fencing will be installed at this time and the plans for installation of the fence have now been placed on hold until the review has been concluded and we have had the opportunity to consider the findings from this.  

"You may wish, in the light of this information, to put on hold any plans you might have for mounting a legal challenge, using crowd funding until the review has concluded and the outcome known.  Clearly, however, this is a matter for you to decide but, to confirm, at the present time, no further action will be taken by the Council with regard to the implementation of the plans for fencing around part of the site."