A LONG-STANDING feud could finally be settled as residents and neighbours lock horns over the opening of a waterside pathway in Southampton.

Civic chiefs will next week decide whether to close the walkway near homes at Quay 2000 in St Denys as early as 4pm.

During a consultation last year, those in support of the longer hours of closure, mostly residents of the housing complex, say that anti-social behaviour previously experienced on the site will return if the path is allowed to stay open later.

The application, which was submitted on behalf of residents, has requested permission to close the path that runs along the waterside outside of 8am and 8pm between April 1 and October 31 and 8am to 4pm from November 1 to March 31.

This comes after a decision was made in 2019 to allow the closure of the pathway from April 2 to September 29 outside the hours of 7am and 9pm and from September 30 to April 1 outside the hours of 7am to 6pm.

The application for the new hours claims that as a result of the walkways layout, the change in gradient and the surrounding users have “very limited visibility” offering near complete seclusion.

But others say the revised hours are too restrictive and do not provide a “reasonable” level of waterfront access.

A previous application for the permanent closure of the walkway was refused.

One objection from a Dr Peter Taylor read: “The proposed restricted hours prevent the use of the walkway by anyone working normal day time hours.

“They would not be able to use it before or after work; it will effectively be closed to them on days that they work.”

But in support, Mr Andy Mitchell wrote in the consultation: “I support the application. The walkway has been opened up prior to this application`s decision and already there has been people walking their dogs along there and left 3 piles of dog`s poop which we think is deliberate, and WE have had to clear it up and disinfect the footpath, especially as children could touch this and then touch their eyes and go blind! This is not the team spirit we would of hoped for!”

Council officers have recommended that the application for the longer hours of closure is refused at a meeting of the Planning and Rights of Way Panel which is due to take place on September 21.

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