Council chiefs have responded to safety concerns about bollards erected in a Hemel Hempstead street – almost a month after they were first raised.
The bollard bother began when a series of fixed wooden blocks sprang up along an amenity green in Longlands, Adeyfield, after complaints from one tenant about the risks to children of having cars parked on the grass.
The bollards have since prompted occupants of the other houses to voice their worries about access for emergency service vehicles to their homes.
Paul Eastwood lives in one of the 11 houses affected and was told that to find out more on the controversial move, he would have to submit a Freedom of Information request to Dacorum Borough Council. He did so on August 1.
He said: “I think it is appalling. I am really concerned about the length of time it took them to answer me – they are abusing the system.”
Among Paul’s questions was whether the council consulted with the emergency services on the implications of blocking access to the green.
The response, dated August 30, read: “We do not need to give access to emergency vehicles to the immediate entrance of a property.”
Dacorum and St Albans District Fire and Rescue Service manager Ian Markwell said he could not confirm whether or not the service had been consulted on this particular issue, but that they are familiar with the area and are confident the bollards no pose no risk in getting emergency access to the houses.
He added if there were any issues with the decision, they would have been able to make a change.
Paul said: “The council has failed to answer whether they consulted with the emergency services. They also did not consult with the people who live here – they are completely disengaged with the public and that is quite rich for a local authority.
“If they had asked people in advance they would have a whole list of ideas. There could be a parking permit system here, like in other parts of the borough. Instead they made it like a prison camp.”
Dacorum Borough Council said in its response to Paul that it was not obliged to consult with tenants, who have no right to park on the amenity green, on the installation of the bollards, which cost £3,705.
Paul says he will take the matter further and has now raised a complaint to Dacorum Borough Council over how his concerns have been dealt with.
He said: “The item was dealt with as a Freedom of Information request, although I never asked for this to be so, and I fail to see why most of my enquiry was not responded to more promptly.”