Hastings District Council is considering permanently closing an alleyway near a school that has become a haven for violence and drug dealing.
And a councillor and former principal says similar laneways in the region are now nothing more than a "hazard" and barely being used by the schoolchildren they were once designed for.
Resident Renae Van Der Meer lives next to a 90m-long alleyway which connects Frederick St West and Manuka St in Mahora.
She said it had caused residents trouble for more than 30 years. The council will vote on Thursday whether to permanently close it.
"We have had windows smashed, prowlers, things stolen, I even saw my mum get beaten up by two guys in the alleyway (when I was young)," she said.
"It is a really nasty alleyway."
The single mum said she regularly heard shouting in the alleyway and violence.
"It would ease my stress if it was closed because it is actually really frightening.
"I have been calling council since I was old enough to know who to call, so 14 or 15, and my mum had been calling too."
She said people also park at the top of the alley and dash down the path before returning to their vehicle, in what she believed were drug deals.
Council papers stated there had been complaints about vandalism, fighting and drug dealing in the lane.
It is located 200m from St Mary's Catholic Primary School and Frederick St Kindergarten.
Hastings councillor Malcolm Dixon, a former longstanding principal of Frimley Primary School, said he fully supported closing the alleyway.
"Young children prefer not to use them.
"They find them very claustrophobic and quite dangerous because there is no escape route, even from a large dog."
He said in his experience children did not go anywhere near narrow lanes with high fences.
"Years and years ago, when they were first put in, they thought they would be a good idea but they have become a hazard."
He said that included others like it in the region that are close to schools.
Council papers state that the land could be sold to neighbouring residents if the proposal is approved.
"Implementing the road stoppage will incur some costs to council, including legal fees for the subdivision and disposal of the land," the agenda reads.
"This may be partially offset via the sale of the land."
Dixon said he supported the land being given to residents whose fences backed onto the Mahora laneway, and did not think residents should be made to pay for it.
Fellow resident Evan Robson has been living next to the alleyway for 35 years.
"It has just become a cowboy alleyway and a place where people could get drunk and high and vandalise our fence lines and yell and curse," he said.
"There have been many, many incidents where police have been called."
He said it used to be much worse but was still a disgrace.
He said residents had been petitioning the council for decades to remove it but "they have insisted that they have to keep it open".
"This would never have lasted in Havelock North."
Robson said he would like to see it turned into green space and blocked off to foot traffic.