The trustees do recognise the inconvenience to the residents of Effingham caused by the prolonged closure of the car park. This has been due to government guidelines, the threat of traveller incursion and planned additional security work to the gates at both the Browns Lane and A246 entrances. We thank residents for their support and understand the frustration caused by the closure.
The threat of incursion has been present for many years and the trustees decided it was time to install higher level security to properly protect the grounds and save the costs and inconvenience of the clean up that is required after such incursions. We applied for and recently received a grant to support the cost of this work. In the interim, residents will have seen the log barriers that were used to block the entrances – at a cost for each placement and removal. It has been unfortunate that the planned security installation has now been delayed twice – we have been reviewing when to open the car park on a weekly basis and decided it was best to keep the car park closed to vehicles until the disruption caused by the security installation had passed.
At a Trustee Zoom meeting on Tuesday night, we took the decision that the car park would be re-opened on Saturday 25th July regardless of whether the security installation had occurred. Thankfully we have had confirmation today that installation will take place on Thursday 23rd July.
However, today we found that one of the residents of Effingham has taken matters into his own hands and cut the chains/padlocks with an angle grinder as well as cut the locking latch on the gate. Whilst this has allowed the gate to be opened, it has caused significant damage resulting in the need for the Trust to incur further costs to replace locks and repair the gate. In addition, valuable police time has been taken by attending what is regarded as a crime scene.
We would point out that the car park will need to be closed on Thursday 23rd July to permit installation of the additional security measures. Because of these works, any vehicles in the car park before the work commences will not be able to leave until the following day.
The Trustees are responsible for the safety of the public at KGV and for the security of the grounds. As such we must reserve the right to change access to Hall, the Grounds and car park at any time.