Muggers alley fears for new estate passage

Dark alley: Pedestrian access to the new development in Ribbleton
Dark alley: Pedestrian access to the new development in Ribbleton
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Police fears that a pedestrian link between a new estate and nearby shops could become a muggers alley have been rejected by councillors.

Preston’s planning committee has given the green light to a development of 34 homes off Grange Avenue, Ribbleton despite warnings that a ginnel through to the main Longridge Road was “likely to increase crime in the area.”

Lancashire Constabulary raised concerns about the footpath when the scheme for the former North West Water depot came up for approval. The force opposed the plan suggesting the alleyway could be a risk after dark and also allow criminals a fast getaway route instead of using the vehicle access in Grange Avenue.

Committee member Coun Tom Davies, a fomer police officer, agreed with the objection, saying: “If we put that entrance there it will be used for the wrong reasons. If the police say it isn’t fesible we should be listening to what they are saying. Something will happen on that estate which will be our fault if we put this through. Several months ago police were stopped from going on there because of a riot. I know that estate because I’ve policed it.”

But, after hearing the passageway would have lighting - and possibly CCTV - councillors agreed it could go ahead.

“A lot of people on this development are not going to be car owners and they will want to walk to the shops and to catch buses on the main road,” said Coun Javed Iqbal. “If we don’t allow this access then they will have to walk all the way round.”

The development will comprise 16 semi-detached houses, six terraced and a three-storey block of 12 two-bedroom flats.