Could there be some movement on what is fast becoming Helston’s most infamous stretch of tarmac, Peacock’s Lane?
Each month the state of the lane, left, is brought to the attention of members of the town council, but the point remains moot as no owner can be found for the middle section.
The council has been given legal advice warning against organising or contributing to the cost of the repairs, as the work would technically be carried out without the owner’s consent and a duty of care would be carried over.
A bid from one councillor, John Martin, to stake a claim on the land in the hope of drawing the actual owner out, has also proved fruitless – although Mr Martin told members this month that he had a flag ready.
Town centre regeneration officer Martin Searle has attempted to obtain funding from the adjoining landowners, but so far just £300 has been offered towards the £3,400 estimated cost of repairs, with many reluctant to contribute for fear of taking on liability.
However, at the most recent meeting of the town council, Mr Searle suggested there could be a way to proceed if members were happy to take on “some level of responsibility” for the upkeep.
He said: “Given that this has council has taken on responsibility for various assets, I wonder if that’s such a bad thing, taking on responsibility for a relatively short section of tarmac path.”
Mr Searle said if this was to happen he believed the work could be done “in a relatively short time.”
The Public Realm Project Board, which is considering ways to spend the £250,000 “supermarket cash” on town centre improvements, put pressure on the council to pursue the matter when they last met. The board believes there must be a legal mechanism allowing local authorities faced with such a problem to carry out the work on the grounds of public safety by putting out appropriate notices.
Mr Searle is in the process of following this up with Cornwall Council officers.