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Weekly prints clarification on access dispute

A weekly newspaper has published a clarification after a complaint over articles on an access dispute.

Orhan Bicer contacted the Press Complaints Commission after the Middleton Guardian published two articles about public access to a local lane which is on private property.

He said the newspaper had published inaccurate and misleading information.

The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following clarification to set out the complainant’s position:

“A front-page article on 2 September (‘Lock Out’) said that residents have been unable to access their homes on Alkrington Hall Road North after Orhan Bicer erected and padlocked an access gate to the lane.

“Mr Bicer advises that the decision to install the gates was made by the Alkrington Hall Residents’ Association; he has never locked the gate pictured with the article; there are alternative routes to the homes on the lane; and the gates were installed to prevent anti-social behaviour, not to stop public use of the lane.

“He notes that no public right of way exists over the land, which is in private ownership. We are happy to make his position clear.”