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Legal & money

Playing football in the street

(25 Posts)
DatDat Tue 17-Apr-12 20:02:25

I live on what was previously a very quiet cul-de-sac until the local council decided to build 10 new local authority houses across the Close from me. In one of the properties across the Close from me the lads who live there are frequently playing football in the front garden, but because the fences to the properties have a large gap in the middle of them to accomodate a driveway, the football is inevitably kicked out into the road on the Close, and occasionally onto our gardens across the Close, and the lads concerned think nothing of coming onto our land or trampling all over our gardens to retrieve their football. With this in mind, although the football is primarily taking place in their front garden, as the football is frequently being kicked out onto the road and onto other residents properties across the Close, I was wondering if I had a case under section 161 of the public highways act 1980, to have a word with the local police and the local council who own the properties about this?

Carol Tue 17-Apr-12 20:17:18

What about making friends with your new neighbours and asking them if their lads would mind keeping the ball off your front garden as you're gardens will suffer from being trampled on?

grannyactivist Tue 17-Apr-12 20:27:10

DatDat, perhaps a more conciliatory approach might be a better place to start. Could you call and invite the lads to come over for a coke and a biscuit and explain the problem and ask them to help think of a solution? It seems as if they're needing a nudge to think of how their behaviour impacts you and most youngsters don't deliberately go out of their way to antagonise people (although I do know there are some that do). Involving the police and council seems a combative first step and one that I would be loath to take before trying to get the lads onside.

DatDat Tue 17-Apr-12 20:49:55

Not a chance! I've lived in my house for 25 years now and when we purchased the house all those years ago the Close was 100% owner occupancy. The land across the Close owned by the local authority used to be an office building for the local social services department and a large adjoining garden, if I'd have known that the local authority were going to knock this down and build a row of 15 council houses across the Close from me 25 years later, then I wouldn't have bought the property in the first place. The whole community on our Close campaigned against the building of these local authority houses, however we were defeated at the subsequent planning panel meeting by just one vote because the chairman's vote apparently counted as 2 votes, so on account of the value of our houses being reduced by around £25,000 because of the close proximity of these local authority houses, there is definitely no love lost between the owner occupancy on the Close and our new tenants across the Close, and we have no intention of making friends with neighbours who have been forced upon us against the will of the whole of the existing community on the Close because of the all powerful local authority whose members on the planning panel rigged the planning panel meeting so they could not lose.

Carol Tue 17-Apr-12 21:11:15

Oh dear! When my children were growing up, I left my husband and bought a pretty cottage in a conservation area with beautiful views across to the Pennines. We had a lovely wide pathway, the width of a road, up to the old church, where my children could play safely and use their skateboard with no-one to bother them. Then across the road, some houses were built that obscured the beautiful view. We were anxious about some of the people who were moving in as they didn't seem too bothered about the nature of this tiny lane with its history. The children played football in the park area that had been built for the community and had seats for us to enjoy the view. But, they soon integrated, we had a couple of street parties, the children all went to the same primary school and when I visited a couple of those neighbours, I found they were houseproud and industrious, and saw some of the elderly people nearby as quite prejudiced against them as 'newcomers' They didn't make the planning laws, or choose to be offered a house on that lane - they were just happy that they had their new accommodation. I would say give the neighbours a chance - they might just be helpful to you one.'day, and you to them.

tanith Tue 17-Apr-12 21:47:54

Sorry DatDat but for goodness sake its hardly the tenants fault that the houses they now occupy were built and spoilt your 'Garden of Eden'.. its no wonder the children have scant respect for your land if you and your neighbours have so obviously set against them. What a terrible shame that you all can't get on and make a community of your Close instead of making them feel so unwelcome..

DatDat Tue 17-Apr-12 22:07:42

Tanith: Let me ask you a question, apart from having kids running over your land, would you be happy to lose £25,000 from the value of your house? I myself was brought up living in a council house as a child, but whatever anyone has to say on the issue of community cohesion, this is simply not the scenario that our community bought into all those years ago when we purchased our properties.

granjura Tue 17-Apr-12 22:17:04

Again DatDat, this is hardly those kids fault, is it? I'd rather they played football, then went around doing less savoury stuff. Blaming the kids is a recipe for disaster, sorry to say. If they get a whiff of the fact you despise and resent them, it could get much worse rather than better (sorry to say again).

nanaej Tue 17-Apr-12 22:24:23

Tanith how old are the 'kids' ? is there an alternative space for them to get to easily to play footie? If they are old enough to go to a rec /park and play and there is one to go to then maybe you have a point. If however they are too young to play unsuprervised in a rec or there is not a proper facility nearby then they are just doing what kids do? I agree with other posts sugessting an appeasement approach. I have lived next door to two teenage boys , both at private school and who went on to Oxford, who frequently hit cricket balls & kicked footballs over our fence including when home from uni! Don't always think it is to do with the type of housing so much as the nature of boys of a certain age!! They also practised drumming in the garden shed!

nanaej Tue 17-Apr-12 22:26:03

Sorry..getting tired should have addresed message to datdat... better go to bed!

tanith Tue 17-Apr-12 22:27:24

DatDat no of course I wouldn't be happy but the point I'm making is its not their fault your houses value has fallen , its the planners and the council. I wouldn't take it out on the children I'd rather try the friendly approach after all the houses are built now and nothing is going to change that fact.

Carol Wed 18-Apr-12 07:51:53

Many houses that were bought privately now have tenants in them instead of a house owner. Prices have fallen, so some of the drop in value might not be to do with the arrival of council houses in the community. I have some young relatives who have 'house-hopped' because they can't sell without going into negative equity. One nephew lives in the house owned by his brother, the flat he vacated went to the other brother, and meanwhile the house-owning nephew has to move into another rented house because the one he is in is at last being sold and he can't buy it because he has a mortgage on the other house! Complicated, but it demonstrates that private owners are having to make big compromises because of the drop in house prices and the slow down in house sales due to their drop in value.

nelliedeane Wed 18-Apr-12 09:30:57

Datdat I rarely get angry but your whole tone is insulting to those of us that are in social housing. I appreciate it may not have been your choice to have people from a different background to yourself living there,but have you spoken nicely to the children,and you havent said what sort of age they are,not all of us that live in social housing have little regard for our neighbours,I wonder if you where to fall ill or have an accident in your street and some one from the other side of the road came to your aid would you refuse their help,and vice versa would you refuse to give it,if you treat these other HUMAN BEINGS not just council tenants with respect and courtesy you may find it is recciprocated.angry

Greatnan Wed 18-Apr-12 09:40:58

Well said, nellie, I have refrained from posting a reply because I am not sure I could remain within forum etiquette. I thought we had gone up in the world when we moved from a slum house in Salford to a shiny new council house. My sister lives in a former council house, which has been taken over by a Housing Association. Many of the surrounding houses have been bought under the Right to Buy scheme, and she says there is no difference in the way the houses and gardens are kept. When anyone is ill, everybody rallies round and nobody asks if they are owner or tenant..
It seems that councils in England would rather give building consent to Tesco than provide some playing space for children. If there were more skateparks and football pitches there would be less bored and disaffected children.
I expect the parents of the children playing football are afraid to let them roam too far from home.

Greatnan Wed 18-Apr-12 09:45:24

I suspect that the drop in value is caused because potential buyers have the same attitude to council tenants as the OP.

gangy5 Wed 18-Apr-12 12:43:44

This is a really sticky one. I'm not that keen to, but I do live in an area dominated by pensioners - and I am one myself!! My road consists of a really good mix of oldies and young families. I love to hear the children playing and they do play in the street. I'm not sure how I would feel if they trampled over my precious garden though!!
Would it help to somehow close your driveway and extend the height of your front boundary?
You would then be in a position to say that if any balls were kicked over you would return them - in your own time!

Greatnan Wed 18-Apr-12 12:56:49

Gangy5 - you are very tactful and kind. I suspect most of us were outraged by the attitude of the OP to the council house tenants, rather than her wanting to protect her garden.

DatDat Wed 18-Apr-12 14:03:56

Wow! This was meant to be about a point of law in relation to section 161 of the Public Highways Act not about local authority housing v owner occupancy or community cohesion etc. I myself was brought up on a council estate as a young boy so I'm not some kind of snob having a go at local authority tenants far from it. And quite frankly I don't give a monkeys about what anyone has got to say on this matter that has no bearing on my original question which was purely in relation to section 161 of the public highways act 1980 and whether these boys were in direct contravention of this act by their actions and therefore breaking the law.

Carol Wed 18-Apr-12 14:19:05

Then, *DatDat' it seems you are an imposter and came on here merely to be provocative. Genuine posters are most welcome, no matter how contentious, but simply baiting people in order to have a go at them is pathetic.

Greatnan Wed 18-Apr-12 14:24:52

Simple solution - google the Act and find out for yourself. Why should members here be able to advise you. Your second post was fairly obviously meant to be provocative. You must have a pretty boring life!

gangy5 Wed 18-Apr-12 15:37:15

I think that we're all trying to react kindly to your post DatDat but if you want us to keep strictly to the point I think you're extremely umwise to go down the legal route, using section 161 of the Public Highways Act. There is nothing more confrontational than taking legal action. The antagonism that will arise from your neighbours will undoubtedly cause a very hostile environment with you and your neighbours. Resolve it amicably if you can and you should at least approach them first on the subject before taking it further.

nelliedeane Wed 18-Apr-12 15:59:00

DATDAT wether that was your intention or not you have managed on here to offend people by your attitude AND I quote your words '' have no intention of making friends with them''if you do not give a monkeys about the opinions expressed again your words on here then do not ask for them, as a council tenant I would hate to live next door to some one as arrogant and offensive as you are,why dont you pay a solicitor if you are hell bent on legal proceedings ,how self righteous you are did you never play football in the street,and in direct contravention to any laws are YOU totally sin free JUMPING UP AND DOWN WITH ANGER [angry ] angry

Annika Wed 18-Apr-12 16:52:51

As my dear old dad once said when someone complained to him about the noise children were making while playing near the houses they were living in at the time, "it would be a sad world if we never heard children playing. It would mean one of two things, we have all gone deaf or god forbid there were no more children in the world" !!!!
Live and let live.
If the children playing football are only young then they need to be within sight of their parents, if they are older they will soon get fed up and move on .
If all I had to do all day was to worry about children playing football near my house I would count myself very lucky indeed

Ariadne Wed 18-Apr-12 16:59:08

And your dear old dad was SO right, Annika!

Annika Wed 18-Apr-12 18:06:32

Ariadne smile