Residents raise safety concerns as town council urges Canal and River Trust to repair broken fence near canal in Linslade

Leighton-Linslade Town Council is urging the Canal and River Trust to fix a fence in Linslade Memorial Playing Field it says the charity is responsible for.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 12:08 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th March 2021, 11:16 am
The fence by the canal in Linslade Memorial Playing Field PHOTO: Paul Niu

Running in parallel to the Grand Union Canal, the perimeter fence along the bank, near to The Wharf apartments complex has collapsed. As well as worrying about it falling into the canal, residents in the area are fearful for public safety, particularly in regards to children playing near it.

Despite the town council saying it doesn’t have legal ownership of the fence it wants to help resolve the issue.

A spokesperson for Leighton-Linslade Town Council said: “The fence to the rear of Linslade Memorial Playing Field failed in July 2017 and isn’t a new failure. Title plans clearly mark that the bank at the rear of the park is owned by the Canal and River Trust. Therefore, it is believed that maintenance responsibilities lie with them for their fence, which is falling into the Grand Union Canal, and not the town council.

The fallen fence in Linslade Memorial Playing Field PHOTO: Paul Niu

“Officers have comprehensively reviewed all documents associated with Linslade Memorial Playing Field dating back to 1937, held at the White House, and there is no record of the fence, its installation nor its maintenance. It is hoped that the matter can be brought to a successful conclusion and the town council is open to proactive discussions with the Canal and River Trust on the matter.”

Paul Niu, close to the park is calling for swift action to be taken. He said: “The fence and indeed the whole canal frontage is an untidy mess.

“At this moment in time, it doesn’t matter who owns what. What matters is public safety and therefore a temporary fence needs to be erected in front of the damaged fence immediately, until ownership of the fence is clarified and rectified in order to avoid potential insurance claims.”

Leighton-Linslade town councillor Steve Owen, (Lib Dem), of Barnabas ward was asked to look at the state of the fence on Mr Niu’s and other residents’ behalf.

“It is not clear what the best solution is at the moment, perhaps a partnership might be the way forward,” he said.

“Attempts have been made to contact the Trust about this issue last year but the town council found it difficult to get the them to engage.”

In the meantime, councillor Gordon Perham, (Conservative), of Linslade ward has installed a temporary safety barrier for park users.

The issue of public safety was discussed by the town council’s Grounds and Environmental Committee on March 8.

The LBO approached the Canal and River Trust for comment on February 26, but has not yet had a response.