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Plan to close estate path to Holloway Road is axed

Town Hall U-turn comes after residents in nearby streets warned nuisance behaviour would be pushed into other areas

17 July, 2020 — By Sam Ferguson

Vicki Gedge at the path through the ­Pollard Close estate to Holloway Road

THE Town Hall has binned plans to close a public footpath through a housing estate which residents warned had become a magnet for nuisance behaviour and drug taking.

Islington decided the route through the ­Pollard Close estate to Holloway Road should be closed after lengthy discussions with people living on the estate and the police over how to tackle the issue.

But when signs went up announcing the plans, residents in nearby streets complained, warning problems would be pushed into other areas.

Objectors said they should have been consulted on the changes.

Facing a backlash, the council yesterday (Thursday) backtracked, and decided to keep the path open for now.

A spokesman said “We are withdrawing the legal order for ­Pollard Close, and we apologise to our residents for not explaining our wider plans for tackling local crime and anti-social behaviour and providing a safer route to walk between Biddestone Road and Holloway Road.

“We are committed to making Islington a safer place and in the near future we will be improving the access route to Holloway Road and the tube station through Biddestone Park so that residents will have a well-lit, safer route.

“We will continue to support residents in Pollard Close in tackling the crime and anti-social behaviour they experience.

“People deserve ­better communication from the council about what is happening in their neighbourhood and we apologise for not doing this earlier in this case.”

Vicki Gedge of ­Biddestone Road, who brought the row to the attention of the Tribune through a letter last week, said she was pleased the council had backtracked.

“It’s good that they’ve apologised,” she said. “I’m still a bit concerned because it seems from their statement that they still have plans to close the path, and have people use the park route instead, which I don’t think is the right solution.

“I still have reservations but if they communicate their plans better in future at least then people will be able to make an informed choice.”

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