HOMEOWNERS in Hook who have gates that back on to parish-owned land will need a licence to use them, a meeting heard.

Hook Parish Council hopes the measure will protect parish land for generations and help stop the establishment of rights of way on areas such as Hartletts Park.

As well as the licence, the parish council will put up 19 signs around the village to mark their land, after agreeing to spend £1,550 on the project.

Councillor Martin Whittaker said the issue of access to parish-owned land had a long history.

As previously reported in The Gazette, it came to the fore in recent years when a homeowner by Hartletts Park used his back gate for access for workmen, without the permission of Hook Parish Council.

The meeting heard other homeowners have flytipped by throwing rubbish and garden cuttings over their gate and on to parish land.

He said: “We are going to write a letter to each person that abuts parish council land pointing out there is not right of access to the land.

“Another letter will tell people who have gates that they need a licence saying they accept our terms. If we get all these measures into place it will ensure our future safety and security in this matter.”

The meeting heard that stopping the establishment of rights of way was important on Hartletts Park, as part of it could be sold to the village’s junior and infant school to expand if housing development continues.

Members agreed the funding of the sign, and to look at the wording of the licence letter.