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AN ‘ANCIENT’ stile has been removed from a public right of way in Kendal.

The stile behind Dean Gibson School on the Collinfield estate was bulldozed by Cumbria Highways, but both Kendal Civic Society and residents say they were not properly consulted.

Kendal Civic Society’s Tony Rothwell, who lives on Collin Road, said: “It was a very historic stile and the second one that’s been removed.

“It is part of the original Collinfield estate and I’d say the enclosure was built about 200 or 300 years ago.”

The removal was conducted by Cumbria Highways as the result of a campaign by the Mayor of Kendal, Coun Sylvia Emmott.

Ms Emmott said: “Not only did we do legal consultation, I went above and beyond that by sending a leaflet to around 1,000 properties, plus a subsequent letter to the residents in the street.

“The vast majority of residents I have spoken to have been pleased with the proposed change, but I’m always happy to speak to anyone about concerns they may have.”

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But residents claim they only saw a poster about a week before, notifying the community of the removal that one, Peter Nicholson, has branded as an act of ‘rural vandalism’.

Mr Nicholson said: “I found it very useful as a dog owner and when walking with my well-trained terriers they would always halt at the narrow style.

“I understand the new arrangements will have no impact on the control of dogs on a busy road and will encourage cyclists to use this very narrow path.”

A spokesperson for Cumbria County Council said the structure was not listed or scheduled and so Kendal Civic Society was not a statutory consultee.

The council added that some of the stone was being made into a bench and Countryside Access was doing work on the footpath to make easier access.

Trevor Hughes, also of Kendal Civic Society, said: “We would have come up with a plan to save it, as now a little bit of our heritage has disappeared. “They could have widened one side of it but it’s too late, it’s gone now.”