Boundary dispute is a thorny issue

Angela Foster
Angela Foster
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RESIDENTS have hit out at a primary school after the boundary with their houses was left to turn into a weed-infested wilderness.

Householders on Sandy Lane have become increasingly fed up as the strip of land between the edge of the playing field owned by Castle Hill St Philip’s CE Primary School and their gardens has become increasingly overgrown.

Angela Foster is fed up with overgrown vegetation on land owned by Castle Hill Primary School encroaching onto her home

Angela Foster is fed up with overgrown vegetation on land owned by Castle Hill Primary School encroaching onto her home

Some residents say the problem is now so bad huge bramble plants are covering the entire path at the back of their homes, making it impossible to move bins in and out each week for collection.

Although the question of land ownership has now been looked into by the school and Wigan Council, residents are still unhappy as they say the issue has been getting worse for several years.

Sandy Lane resident Angela Foster said: “When it started getting a bit overgrown we tried to cut it back where possible but then it just got out of control with brambles and weeds.

“It’s just gone on from there. It’s grown and grown and now it’s got to the stage where it’s coming into my back garden.

“I can’t even get my bins in and out and about two years ago I was threatened with a fine from Wigan Council for leaving them on the footpath outside my front garden, which I thought was ridiculous. I’ve had to put them next to my front door.

“I’m just really fed up with it and I can’t believe sorting out who the land belongs to really takes more than three years. One resident on our row told me she’s had a problem with vegetation since 2001.

“There’s just been a lack of communication and progress with the school and it’s being point blank ignored. That irritates me most of all.”

Angela said the problem, which involves a sloping strip of land between the houses’ back wall and the green boundary fence for the school playing field, affects a row of four terraced houses on Sandy Lane and two bungalows on the same street.

The school has said it is keen to resolve the issue and passed the question of land ownership onto Wigan Council’s legal department.

However, the town hall has advised that at least some of the vegetation is likely to be on private land which the residents will therefore have to deal with themselves.

Castle Hill St Philip’s headteacher Wendy Hilton said: “We are investigating who that land belongs to and once that has been determined the school will take any necessary action.”

Penny McGinty, assistant director for leisure and property at Wigan Council, said: “The school has been in touch with the council to get this matter resolved and we’ve advised where the boundary is.

“There is a section of the overgrown land which is privately owned and not for the school or council to maintain.”