TWO different rows over public right of way in the centre of Barnstaple have been decided by Devon County Council. Gates erected at Prospect place in Newport have divided a community but the county committee which met on Monday has ruled they can stay. Bu

TWO different rows over public right of way in the centre of Barnstaple have been decided by Devon County Council.

Gates erected at Prospect place in Newport have divided a community but the county committee which met on Monday has ruled they can stay.

But a six foot metal barricade out up across Rock Park Terrace is to be removed and the committee recommended it be adopted by the council, as a public right of way.

Both areas were closed off by residents who said anti social behaviour and vandalism had left them with no choice, but the closures angered people who said they had used the lanes for many years.

At Prospect Place the route was regularly used by Park School pupils as a short cut home. The gates and lane are jointly owned by some of the residents.

At Monday's meeting a recommendation by council officers to adopt the short cut as a right of way was outvoted 5-4 by councillors.

Barnstaple county and district councillor Chris Haywood, who attended the meeting, said: "The decision was made and it was obviously a disappointment to many who objected to the closure but it's a victory for the owners of the lane.

"I'm led to believe they are going to talk to the local school and hope some sort of compromise can be reached and likewise with the other residents of the lane."

The barricading of Rock Park Terrace by one resident angered many in the town, who said they had used it for decades as a pedestrian link to the park. The reason given for the fence was that drunks walking past or congregating there had caused damage to property.

But councillors voted unanimously to adopt the terrace as a public right of way and once it becomes such it cannot be obstructed.

"I am very pleased at this decision because I really believe this was a health and safety issue, with parents and young children going to and from the play park," said Cllr Haywood.

Both decisions by the committee are still dependant on whether the others sides choose to appeal.