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Lay-by 'still being used as a sex blackspot'
A LANDOWNER says police and council chiefs are not doing enough to deter gay sex on his property.
Sir Beville Stanier said a recent clear-up of the Oxford-bound A40 near Forest Hill, featured in last week’s Oxford Mail, had not stopped men using his land for sex.
It was hoped clearing rubbish and undergrowth would encourage drivers to use the lay-by, discouraging “cottaging” activity. But Sir Beville said Oxfordshire County Council needed to put up a bigger fence to his Shotover Estate and even consider removing the lay-by altogether.
He said the wire fence was easy to break into – but the council said taxpayers’ cash should not be used to protect private land.
Sir Beville, 76, said: “I really feel Oxfordshire County Council should have done something better to alleviate the problem.
“I know everyone is facing cuts but I thought they would have put up a decent bit of fencing.
“It’s an improvement, but it’s a minor improvement. It needs a proper fence, a higher fence than the one we have got. They haven’t done a proper job. The repairs they have done are very rudimentary. Anyone with a pair of pliers can cut it open again.
“There were three places where the fence was broken but all they have done is bend the chain link fence back round.”
And he said more police officers should patrol the lay-by.
But council spokesman Marcus Mabberley said: “It is not the council’s responsibility to put up fences using taxpayers’ money to protect privately-owned land.
“This fence is a boundary marker and is therefore not just there to purely act as a barrier.
“Indeed, the fence is not continuous and subsequently does not act as a barrier as it is separated by a footpath that gives access from the lay-by into the estate.
“If it had not been damaged in the first place then it would have not have needed to be repaired.”
Nearby public toilets are also known to be used for gay sex but people have recently been seen climbing into the estate.