Putting a locking gate on Ridgewood Village Hall car park has been ruled out for the time being by Uckfield Town Council.
They agreed a different strategy should be adopted to tackle crime and disorder.
Nearby residents are being asked to report all incidents to the police so a clear picture of the extent of the problem can be established.
This data could then be used to seek interventions by police officers and PCSOs.
At October’s meeting of the council’s environment and leisure committee, residents told of disturbances at night from Ridgewood Village Hall car park, including drug dealing, tyres screeching, music blaring out late at night and in the early hours of the morning
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A resident of New Road attended Monday’s (November 18) meeting of the committee and reported on more incidents.
A report to the meeting said that to install a metal, high visibility gate and posts to the entrance of the car park, including a locking mechanism and lock would cost in the region of £3,400 plus VAT.
A fob entry system to the car park, with exit loop sensors, would cost in the region of £6,000 plus VAT.
A meeting had been held with the Chairman of the Ridgewood Village Hall and the Millennium Green Trust to understand their organisations’ views on adding an entry system to the car park.
There were gates
It was learned, councillors were told, that historically there were gates on the car park but they were removed for a number of reasons, including a recommendation from the local emergency services.
It was noted that Ridgewood Village Hall had to be opened before 9am, so any entry system would need to provide access before this time, but early enough to assist walkers/ people wishing to access Ridgewood Recreation Ground and Millennium Green.
The hall at present closed at approximately 10pm.
It was, however, highlighted that any unwanted vehicles could enter the car park before this time. It would then be the last hirer’s responsibility, or that of a nearby resident to ask them to leave.
It was possible that the vehicle owner may not wish to leave and this could cause some issues/and risk to the person locking the gate.
Pressures on hirers
There were options available to avoid placing that pressure on a hirer or resident such as placing an entry system on a timer, such as 8am to 10.30pm or exit loop sensor, but these options were more costly, with quotations starting in the region of the cost noted above in paragraph and would be more for ANPR cameras on exit.
Lighting has been improved in the Ridgewood Village Hall Car Park, more recently, and the hedge has been reported to the town council “as being in a poor condition” because it had now grown too high.
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