Objectors asked to pay for appeal

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RESIDENTS who have objected to proposed names for two new roads have been told they must pay for a court appeal if they want to continue their fight.

Wakefield Council agreed to call the Hemsworth-A1 link road Sprockhoevel Way and chose Avenue Lodeve for an access route between Hemsworth Road and the link road in February.

But 22 people wrote to Pontefract Magistrates Court - which still has to approve the names - to object, with a further 57 locals objecting but missing the deadline.

The court wrote back to inform them that their objections would need to be lodged as an appeal and they would have to start court proceedings against the council to continue.

The letter also stated that the cost of starting an appeal is £200, although it is unclear whether all the objectors will be able to join together to lodge one appeal or whether they would each have to pay £200 and launch individual complaints.

The residents may also face court costs if their complaint is unsuccessful. Each objector who made the deadline now has to inform the magistrates’ court whether or not they intend to start court proceedings.

Don Crossley, of Tower Avenue, Upton, said: “I was amazed to receive a reply which informed me that my comments would be regarded as part of an appeals procedure, which in turn is called a complaint. As such, the court ‘may order costs against the unsuccessful party’. That’s me. In addition to that cost there would be, as far as I can make out, a court issue fee of a further £200.

“All this then, to bring a bit of common sense into local issues. Who are these faceless politicians, skulking in the dark rooms of Wakefield and pretending to represent us? I will, of course, have to withdraw my complaint.

“I can’t afford the cost of British justice.”

Coun Wilf Benson is also objecting as he wants the new road names to reflect the area’s mining heritage and history.

Both names were suggested by Coun Laurie Harrison and supported by South Kirkby and Moorthorpe Town Council. They reflect the twinning of South Kirkby with Sprockhoevel in Germany and Lodeve in France.

The £24m link road was initially set to be called Saxon Way but the name was rejected as it is already in use within the Pontefract postal area.

A spokesperson for Wakefield Council said: ““The naming proposals were considered by the Planning and Highways Committee who approved the selected names. In accordance with the provisions of the Public Health Act 1925, notices of the proposals were erected on the affected streets which stated that any person could object to the Magistrates Court within 21 days. The Court received 22 objections within that objection period.

“A court hearing is scheduled for 16th May at which the Council will seek to uphold the Committee’s decision.”.