Plan submitted for gate and fence across popular Plymouth footpath
A Plymouth school has submitted plans to install a gate and 2.4m fence across a popular city footpath.
At the end of 2012, a 30-year battle over Geasons Lane in Plympton ended with a decision that the footpath could be closed to the public.
The path runs across Ridgeway School, and the school has now submitted plans to Plymouth City Council for work to close it off.
The plans include a gate across the path and a 2.4m fence alongside the school car park.
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The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs held a public inquiry to decide the application made by Ridgeway School to close the footpath which runs through its grounds.
Headteacher John Didymus said at the time of the decision: "For 30 years successive headteachers and governing bodies have tried and failed to close this footpath which has offered full access to persons of ill intent right into the heart of our school. Over the years thousands of Ridgeway School parents, students, staff, governors and local people have petitioned to close it.
"Every agency with expertise in health and safety or child protection has supported successive attempts to close the footpath and we are delighted on behalf of them all that the planning inspector understood the issues and has confirmed the order.
"I do understand the arguments raised by opponents of this decision but these cannot take precedent over the fundamental issue that it is expedient for the purposes of protecting pupils or staff from violence, harassment, alarm or distress arising from unlawful activity, or any other risk to their health and safety arising from such activity.
"My only regret is that it has taken so long. I extend my sincere thanks on behalf of the school to all those who have supported this just cause over many years and welcome the opportunity to both secure the site and develop the environment for the benefit of our school community."
However campaign group the Open Spaces Society is "deeply disappointed" that the path is to be closed.
Objectors said that the path is well used by local people to gain access to community facilities such as the library, meeting hall and swimming pool.
They also said the route was a quieter, reasonably direct and shorter alternative to the public roads that run alongside or close to the school.
They said the alternatives are along busy roads with narrow pavements.