Forgotten bylaw could protect damaged verges in Woodhall Spa

One of the damaged verges in Woodhall Spa. Photo: John Aron
One of the damaged verges in Woodhall Spa. Photo: John Aron

Help could be at hand for campaigners battling to preserve Woodhall Spa’s grass verges - from a forgotten bylaw.

Parish councillors and residents have so far hit a brick wall in their attempts to stop vehicles parking on the verges and ruining them.

The verges should be a feature of the village which relies heavily on tourism.

Locals claim many of the verges resemble unsightly ‘seas of mud’ - because of indiscriminate parking.

Responsibility for maintaining the verges has been handed down from the county council to the parish council, who admit they are struggling to stop the parking.

Now, Michael Hewson, the last clerk of the former Woodhall Spa Urban District Council, says the verges could be protected by a 50-year-old bylaw.

The UDC disappeared in 1974 in a major re-organisation of local government.

Speaking at a parish council meeting last week, Mr Hewson revealed the bylaw - introduced in the 1960s - could still be in applied.

He said it was specifically designed to protect verges in many parts of the village, including the badly affected Coronation Walk.

He added the bylaw contained a clause warning vehicle owners could be fined £20 or £25 - if they parked on verges.

Mr Henshaw added: “As far as know, this bylaw was never rescinded so it might be to your advantage if you (the parish council) looked into this.”

Parish council chairman David Clarke asked Mr Henshaw if he knew what had happened to the bylaw. He replied; ‘No - but if it wasn’t rescinded it could be an answer to your problem.”

Coun Clarke described Mr Henshaw’s comments as ‘interesting’ and said the parish council would look into whether the bylaw was still valid.

Councillors heard that, at their request, county council representatives had walked around Woodhall Spa.

Parish clerk Amanda Bushell said while the county council shared concerns about the state of some verges, it had suggested setting up new parking bays - rather than any measures restricting vehicles from verges.