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Cardinal Cap Alley

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Saturday 18 December 2010 12.52am
Can anyone give me any information on the current status of Cardinal Cap Alley and Skinmarket place? Last time I checked (18 months ago) both were obstructed and yet both remain public highways.

It would be good to see them opened up and I wonder if anyone is doing anything about them.

Regards to all.

Saturday 18 December 2010 1.25pm
Last time I walked down there many moons ago Niall you could only walk a small way down. But the bit you could see was like another age, wonderful. Who actually owns the buildings that it backs on to?

In weston street Niall a public right of way was blocked Mermaid court I think, developers closed it off when the new builds were constructed. It was a great short cut to the back of guiness buildings.
Sunday 13 February 2011 2.00pm

As at January 2011 it is still blocked by a locked iron gate. I can however, remember walking down the alley in the 1990s. Perhaps there was a change in ownership of one of the adjacent properties following this. It may be that the owners of 43 Bankside obstructed the alley for reasons of 'privacy'. However, if so, they have no right to do this and their obstruction is illegal. I have noticed that a rather monstrous roof terrace has been built at the rear of 43 Bankside (which looks wholly out of keeping with such an elegant building). I have previously complained to Southwark council but got nowhere. Their attitude was that there was no point them taking any action to remove the obstruction, because, whilst the alley is technically a public right of way, it no longer leads anywhere, so it is of no practical importance if the public right of way is lost. This particularly rankles with me because the reason it no longer leads anywhere is because the alley it intersected with (Skin Market Place) has also been wrongfully obstructed. Surely, when approving the Globe's plans, Southark Council should have addressed this. I did not take this further at the time, but I am now thinking of escalating it further. Quite frankly, I think the property owner/s action in blocking a public right of way and Southwark's complacency is disgraceful. I will need to double-check the legal position, but I have a feeling that if Cardinal's Cap Alley is not used by the public for a certain length of time, it ceases to be a public right of way. Irrespective of any practical considerations, I feel that as a matter of principle this should not be allowed to occur as there seems to be a tendency nationally for landowners to illegally obstruct public rights of way. I would regard any movement of public land/rights of way into private hands as against the public interest. Regards, Justin.
Sunday 13 February 2011 2.55pm
There's a way to do it in the rest of the country but, unfortunately, it doesn't apply in Southwark:

From the Ramblers web-site

Highway authorities county councils and unitary authorities are under a duty to prevent and remove obstructions at common law; moreover, statute law gives them two general duties:

* Section 130(1) of the Highways Act 1980 gives highway authorities the duty to assert and protect the rights of the public to the use and enjoyment of the highways for which they are the highway authority.
* Section 130(3) requires them to prevent as far as possible the stopping-up or obstruction of those highways.

Any person may require a highway authority to comply with the above duties by serving a notice under section 130A130C of the 1980 Act. The procedure is explained in more detail here.

I'll contact some of my friends with specialist knowledge to see whether they know what the procedure is here.
Sunday 13 February 2011 9.17pm
Great, thanks Phil!
Monday 14 February 2011 10.15am
I remember being able to walk down the alley too. Something else I've been wanting to find out about is the road in front of 43 Bankside + other houses, for sometime it has metal removeable barriers put across - I don't know who has put the barriers there. The road has single yellow lines on either side and is a dead end but I wonder if it is still public highway? Does anyone know?
Wednesday 19 September 2012 10.40pm
18 months later, I dropped in on the SE1 Forum and noticed this question, and its an interesting one as well as being something of an ongoing saga.

Southwark Cathedral (who were owners of 51 & 52 Bankside) along with the owner of 49 have been trying to wrest control of that part of Bankside in front of those addresses for some years, going back to 1988.

In simple terms, Bankside is a public highway across the front of 49, 51 & 52 Bankside although the owners of 49, 51 & 52 will dispute that. The owner of 49 tried to create a ransom strip across Bankside in (from memory) 1989 when they installed a swing barrier across the roadway and then claimed, in a fraudulent statutory declaration, that they had controlled that part of Bankside for some years.

The swing barrier was removed by Southwark Council in (from memory) 2004 but no action has been taken to stop the residents of 49,51 & 52 from illegally blocking the public Highway.

By the same token, Cardinal Cap alley is a Public Highway which was illegally blocked by the installation of a gate across the entrance. At the same time, Skinmarket Place, which lies on the southern edge of the Globe's site and intersects with Cardinal Cap, has been illegally obstructed. The Globe Educational Trust agreed in 1982 to maintain Skinmarket Place and have reneged on that undertaking.

Imagine just how much that little piece of real-estate is worth. 10 car parking spaces adjacent to the Globe and the Tate. Nice work if you can get your hands on it for nothing.

Regards to all.

Tuesday 25 September 2012 2.57pm
Very interesting. I had thought it was the work of the late Rev Colin Slee who lived there until his recent death. So, as it is a public highway, it'd be good if any car owners could make use of it, often, to keep it that way.
Tuesday 25 September 2012 8.22pm
Mini HaHa wrote:
So, as it is a public highway, it'd be good if any car owners could make use of it,

Cars are not allowed on all public highways. Public footpaths and bridleways are public highways (which is why blocking them is illegal), but there is no public right to drive a vehicle down them.
Wednesday 26 September 2012 9.18am
Thanks for the further info Rambling Phil, but the Bankside road in question is neither a footpath nor a bridleway and it is marked with yellow lines - which I don't believe are used on footpaths or bridleways (or maybe they are?)

Taken from Government transport website:
"Yellow Lines
Yellow lines are provided where there is a need to restrict parking to help alleviate traffic flow and to prevent obstructions on the highway......".
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