AN alleyway in Huddersfield could become one of the first in Kirklees to be blocked off to yobs.
The Anti-Social Behaviour Bill currently going through Parliament will allow alleys, lanes and snickets which have problems with crime and disorder to be gated off, even if they are used as a public right of way.
At the moment, alleys can only be gated off if there are no objections from the owners or users and the council can prove they are no longer needed.
The closure must be sought through the magistrates' court and can be a lengthy and costly task.
Residents on Ballroyd Road in Fartown have appealed to Kirklees Council to get an alley behind their houses gated off.
The alley links Ballroyd Road to Pollard Street.
For almost four years, residents claim youths have congregated in the secluded area, damaging walls, setting fire to fences and committing other nuisance acts.
Recently the problems have worsened.
The idea is to put gates at either end of the alley and issue keys only to residents, emergency services and refuse collectors.
Kirklees Birkby ward councillor Mehboob Khan said: "The residents who live there are sick of it and want to reclaim their back alleyway."
By April, 2004, this could be the first alleyway in Kirklees to be affected by the legislation.
"I hope that if it is seen to work here, then it can be rolled out to other areas of Kirklees where it may be useful in the fight against crime."
He added that alley gating had been tried out in Liverpool, Bradford and Salford and had successfully reduced anti-social behaviour, burglary and arson.
Clr Annie Smith, also of Birkby ward, added: "I think alley gating is a brilliant idea. We have got lots of back roads and snickets and it's about trying to make them more private so they don't become places for people to hang around and annoy everybody. This will be an ideal place to try it out."
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