Whitley field kissing gate provokes criticism

Councillor Terry Chivers
Image caption Councillor Terry Chivers said workmen had "made a great job of it" but no one knows why it has been placed in the middle of a field

A councillor has criticised the council for erecting a kissing gate in the middle of a field in Wiltshire.

The gate, according to independent councillor Terry Chivers, was put up "without warning" by two workmen on a public footpath, in a field in Whitley.

"It's alleged they were acting for Wiltshire Council but none of us can work out why it has been placed in the middle of a field," he said.

Wiltshire Council said it had been put in ahead of a fence being erected.

'Gateway to nowhere'

Mr Chivers said he had been at the opening of a new club house at the cricket club when he was asked by local residents why the council was "wasting money" on a "gateway to nowhere".

"I'm told that two men just turned up and installed the gate with another one watching," he said.

"They have made a great job of it but none of us can work out why it has been placed in a middle of a field.

"I have contacted the Rights of Way at County Hall asking for a explanation, when the council is so short of money this just is not acceptable."

But a council spokeswoman said the kissing gate had been installed as part of a planning application to change the field's use from agricultural land to a cricket field.

"The cricket club are putting up a fence to separate the cricket field from where cattle are grazing," she said.

"And because there's a public footpath going through the field, a gate has been put in so the cricket club know where the fence has to go.

"The club are paying for the fence and the gate so it's not costing tax payers anything."

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