Fence request to keep out the undesirables

Rear of HSBC bank, Saxon Road, St Leonards.
Rear of HSBC bank, Saxon Road, St Leonards.

A BANK wants to build a two-metre high security fence to keep drug users, fly-tippers and undesirables out of the rear of its premises.

The borough council is expected to give HSBC in Norman Road permission to install the fencing after submitting a planning application.

The seven-metre long fence aims to stop people using the rear of the premises day and night.

Businessman Phillip Oakley runs his lighting shop on nearby London Road but is too fearful of opening on Saturdays because of drunken abuse. He closes his store, Phillip Oakley Illuminations, now for fear of reprisals. He wrote to the council in favour of the application. He said: “It is a disgraceful situation at this bank.

“Why should they have to spend hundreds of pounds to keep them off their property. But the police will just have to move them on. I get them trying to come into my shop drunk on Saturdays. If I ask them to leave they become abusive. It is a major problem in this part of St Leonards but nothing seems to be done about it. There needs to be a dedicated wet zone where people are allowed to congregate and drink without it affecting residents and neighbouring businesses.”

Karen Crowley, who lives opposite the rear of the bank, also supported the application. She commented online: “I would be extremely happy to see this approved. I rent the flat directly opposite the rear of the bank and it is not uncommon for our family to witness people injecting drugs, urinating, defecating and even performing sexual favours in order to purchase their drugs.

“It would also alleviate the problem of the rubbish and germs that these people leave behind, empty beer cans, wine bottles and used syringes. It would also stop the fly-tippers - at the moment there is a double mattress, child seat and bike among the other general rubbish.

“The installation of these gates would make a huge difference to our lives - I would not be so worried for my children to look out of the windows in future.”