Agenda and minutes

Countryside and Rights of Way Panel
Friday, 24th June, 2016 10.00 am

Venue: Ivanovo Room - County Buildings. View directions

Contact: Jonathan Lindop  Email: jonathan.lindop@staffordshire.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

2.

Declaration of Interest in accordance with Standing Order 16.2

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest at the meeting.

3.

Minutes of meeting held on 15 April 2016 pdf icon PDF 133 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 16 April 2016 be confirmed and signed by the Chairman.

4.

Proposed Diversion of Public Footpath No. 11 Burntwood Town pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive and Director for Families and Communities

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Families and Communities regarding the proposed diversion of Public Footpath No. 11 Burntwood Town under Section 119 of the Highways Act 1980. The Order was being promoted by an owner of land crossed by the path to increase the privacy and security of their property.

 

Public Footpath No. 11 Burtwood Town ran in a northerly direction from Lichfield Road, passing through the grounds of Edial Hall before entering fields where it continued to head in a northerly direction to terminate at Woodhouses Lane. The proposed diverted line of the path offered a more scenic route away from the grounds of the Hall where there were a large amount of vehicular movements.

 

Members noted that the proposals had been the subject of informal consultation and advertisement on site and that no objections had been received. However, the Ramblers Association, Peak and Northern Footpath Society and Open Spaces Society had welcomed the proposals and had requested that if required, gates should be used along the route instead of stiles, a recommendation which officers had provisionally accepted.

 

The Deputy Chief Executive confirmed that (i) the land owner had agreed to meet all costs associated with the making and advertisement of the Order together with the installation of the gates and (ii) the application met the criteria for making a Diversion Order under the relevant Section of the Highways Act 1980.

 

RESOLVED – (a) That the report be received and noted.

 

(b) That the Deputy Chief Executive and Director for Families and Communities be authorised to make an Order under Section 119 of the Highway Act 1980 to divert part of Public Footpath No. 11 Burtnwood Town as shown on the plan attached to the report.

 

(c) That provisions be included in the Order(s) such that they are also made under Section 35A of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to amend the Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way in consequence of the coming into operation of the diversion of Public Footpath No. 11 Burntwood Town.        

5.

Proposed Diversion of Public Footpath No. 0.1368/0.1370 Ellenhall Parish pdf icon PDF 205 KB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive and Director for Families and Communities

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Families and Communities regarding the proposed diversion of Public Footpath No. 0.1368/0.1370 Ellenhall Parish under Section 119 of the Highways Act 1980. The Order was being promoted by an owner of land crossed by the path to increase the privacy and security of their property.

 

Public Footpath No. 0.1368/0.1370 Ellenhall Parish ran in a south-easterly direction from Ellenhall Lane, passing through a busy Agricultural and Civil Engineering storage yard at Ellenhall Farm then continuing to head in a generally southerly direction before terminating at the B5405 Stafford Road. The proposed diverted line of the path offered users a safer and more scenic route away from the working yard of the farm where there were a lot of vehicular movements.

 

Members noted that the proposals had been the subject of informal consultation and advertisement on site and that no objections had been received. However, the Ramblers Association, Peak and Northern Footpath Society and Open Spaces Society had welcomed the proposals and requested that if required, gates should be used along the route instead of stiles, a recommendation which officers had provisionally accepted.

 

The Deputy Chief Executive confirmed that (i) the land owner had agreed to meet all costs associated with the making and advertisement of the Order together with the installation of the gates and (ii) the application met the criteria for making a Diversion Order under the relevant Section of the Highways Act 1980.

 

RESOLVED – (a) That the report be received and noted.

 

(b) That the Deputy Chief Executive and Director for Families and Communities be authorised to make an Order under Section 119 of the Highway Act 1980 to divert part of Public Footpath No. 0.1368/01370 Ellenhall Parish as shown on the plan attached to the report.

 

(c) That provisions be included in the Order(s) such that they are also made under Section 35A of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to amend the Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way in consequence of the coming into operation of the diversion of Public Footpath No. 0.1360/01370 Ellenhall Parish.        

6.

Proposed Diversion of Public Footpath No. 22 (Part) Colton Parish pdf icon PDF 207 KB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive and Director for Families and Communities

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Families and Communities regarding the proposed diversion of Public Footpath No. 22 (Part) Colton Parish under Section 119 of the Highways Act 1980. The Order was being promoted by an owner of land crossed by the path to increase the privacy and security of their property.

 

Public Footpath No. 22 Colton Parish ran from the High Street, Colton, passing through the garden of a residential property known as Little Hey before entering fields where it continued to head in an easterly direction to terminate at its junction with Public Footpath Nos. 23, 24, 25 and 27 Colton Parish. The effect of the order was to divert a section of path to a line commencing from the High Street, Colton, running in a south-easterly direction over a field where it would re-connect with the public path network. 

The proposed diverted line of the path offered a more scenic route away from the grounds and premises and grounds of Little Hey.

 

Members noted that the proposals had been the subject of informal consultation and advertisement on site and that no objections had been received. However, the Ramblers Association, Peak and Northern Footpath Society and Open Spaces Society had welcomed the proposals and had requested that if required, gates should be used along the route instead of stiles, a recommendation which officers had provisionally accepted.

 

The Deputy Chief Executive confirmed that (i) the land owner had agreed to meet all costs associated with the making and advertisement of the Order together with the installation of the gates and (ii) the application met the criteria for making a Diversion Order under the relevant Section of the Highways Act 1980.

 

RESOLVED – (a) That the report be received and noted.

 

(b) That the Deputy Chief Executive and Director for Families and Communities by authorised to make an Order under Section 119 of the Highway Act 1980 to divert part of Public Footpath No. 22 Colton Parish as shown on the plan attached to the report

 

(c) That provisions be included in the Order(s) such that they are also made under Section 35A of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to amend the Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way in consequence of the coming into operation of the diversion of Public Footpath No. 22 Colton Parish.        

7.

Proposed Diversion of Public Bridleway No. 0.1517 (Part) High Offley Parish and Proposed Creation of a Section of Public Bridleway and a Section of Public Footpath in High Offley Parish pdf icon PDF 121 KB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive and Director for Families and Communities

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Families and Communities regarding (i) the proposed diversion of Public Bridleway No. 0.1517 (Part) High Offley Parish under Section 119 of the Highways Act 1980 and; (ii) a proposed Creation Agreement under Section 25 of the Highways Act 1980 to create short sections of Public Footpath and Public Bridleway also in High Offley Parish. The Order referred to in (i) above was being promoted by an owner of land crossed by the paths to increase the privacy and security of their property as well as removing any disturbance from passing heavy farming plant and vehicles. The Agreement referred to in (ii) above was being sought by the County Council in order to rectify an anomaly on the Definitive Map of Public Rights of Way to ensure that the path network connected to Shay Lane.

 

Public Bridleway No. 0.1517High Offley Parish ran in a northerly direction from its junction with Public Bridleway No. 0.1522 passing in close proximity to a residential property known as the Wharf Inn Public House. The Bridleway then headed north-westerly running adjacent to the Shropshire Union Canal passing another residential property and working farm. The effect of the Order was to divert a section of the Bridleway to a line running to the west of its present location to re-connect with its west north-westerly section adjacent to the Canal. 

 

Members noted that the proposals had been the subject of informal consultation and advertisement on site and that no objections had been received. However, the Ramblers Association, Peak and Northern Footpath Society and Open Spaces Society had welcomed the proposals and had requested that public access be maintained from the diverted Bridleway to the steps leading to the Canal. Consequently the landowner promoting the diversion had agreed to enter into a Creation Agreement with the County Council for the provision of a small length of Public Footpath over his land to facilitate this request.   

 

The Deputy Chief Executive confirmed that (i) the land owner had agreed to meet all costs associated with the making and advertisement of the Order and (ii) the application met the criteria for making a Diversion Order under the relevant Section of the Highways Act 1980. In addition he confirmed that the County Council would meet the costs of making and advertising the proposed Creation Agreement.

 

RESOLVED – (a) That the report be received and noted.

 

(b) That the Deputy Chief Executive and Director for Families and Communities by authorised to make an Order under Section 119 of the Highway Act 1980 to divert part of Public Bridleway No. 0.1517 High Offley Parish.

 

(c) That the County Council enter into a Public Path Creation Agreement under Section 25 of the Highways Act 1980 with the relevant landowner to create small sections of Public Footpath and Public Bridleway in High Offley Parish.  

 

(d) That provisions be included in the Order(s) such that they are also made  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Application to Register Land Known as Pickwood Recreation Ground, Milltown Way, Leek pdf icon PDF 295 KB

Report of the Director of Strategy Governance and Change

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Panel considered a report of the Director of Strategy Governance and Change (Schedule 5 to the signed minutes) regarding an application by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council to voluntarily register land known as Pickwood Recreation Ground, Milltown Way, Leek under section 15 (8) of the Commons Act 2006.

 

The Act provided that a landowner owner may with the consent of any relevant leasehold and proprietor of any relevant charge over the land, apply to the Commons Registration Authority to register the land as a town or village green. The procedure for dealing with such applications was set out in Regulation 7 of the Commons (Registration of Town or Village Greens) (Interim Arrangements) (England) Regulations 2007 which stated that applications must be granted where the Registration Authority was (i) satisfied that the applicant was the owner of the land and; (ii) any consents required by Section 15 (9) of the 2006 Act had been obtained.

 

Members noted that the application had been accompanied with documentation supporting the District Council’s title to the land. They had also confirmed that they were the sole freehold owner and that any persons with interests in the land had been consulted and had given their formal consent. In addition, the Defra guidance which stated that the Registration Authority was not required to advertise applications and did not have to examine the merits of registration, was also noted.

 

RESOLVED – (a) That the report be received and noted.

 

(b) That the application made under Section 15(8) of the Commons Act 2006 by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council to register land known as Pickwood Recreation Ground, Pickwood Way, Leek as shown on the plan attached to the above-mentioned report be granted.

 

(c) That the land be added to the Register of Town and Village Greens for the reasons as set out above. 

 

9.

Urgent Item of Business

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the Panel consider the following item of business as it appears to the Chairman that the matter could not wait until their next scheduled meeting owing to the need to publish the Definitive Map and Statement following the Fourth review of Rights of Way in Staffordshire under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, without further delay. 

10.

Public Footpath No. 39 Seighford Parish

Minutes:

The Panel considered an oral report of the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Families and Communities regarding Public Footpath No. 39. Seighford Parish, in the Borough of Stafford.

 

Members were informed that under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, the County Council were legally required to keep the Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way in the County under continuous review. It had therefore been decided to undertake a fourth review on a district by district basis and revised maps and statements had already been published for South Staffordshire District, Newcastle Borough and Cannock Chase District. However, further progress on the review for Stafford Borough had been delayed pending the resolution of issues relating to (i) Public Footpath No. 1 Doxey Parish; (ii) Public Footpath No. 39 Seighford and; (iii) seven other Rights of Ways in the Borough.

 

The Deputy Chief Executive explained that changes to the Definitive Map could only be made and by a properly made and confirmed legal Order under eg Section 119 of the Highways Act 1980 or Section 53 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. However, with regard to Public Footpath No. 39 Seighford Parish, whilst Stafford Borough Council had made and confirmed a Public Path Diversion Order under Section 119 of the Highways Act 1980 in order  to divert a section of path around the eastern boundary of a new housing development (as shown by a dotted line on the plan circulated to Members at the meeting), in 2000, under the then existing Highways Agency arrangements,  the copy of the Order supplied by the Borough Council to the Highway Authority at that time informing them of the Diversion, did not include the required stamp of confirmation. Subsequent enquiries made with the Borough Council together with other interested parties who might have reasonably been expected to have a copy of the confirmed Order, have proved unsuccessful. Therefore, without this documentation, the original line of the path (as shown by a bold line on the plan circulated at the meeting) remained the definitive line and should be included on the Fourth Review Map.

 

However, a recent article published in the Rights of Way Law Review suggested that Section 53 (A) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1980 allowed a legal event Order to be made even if the original Order or documentation which gave rise to the event had subsequently been lost, provided that other sources showed that it was duly made and confirmed. The article also went on to say that in these instances, including the original route on the revised Definitive Map was ‘unhelpful’ if the division had been in place on the ground without giving rise to an objection. Members also noted that publication of the original route on the Fourth Review Map would also blight several properties and result in significant additional expenditure for the County Council in seeking to resolve the situation either by having the original route made available for walkers or promoting a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

Dates of Future Meetings

·         Friday 12 August 2016 at 10.00 am;

·         Friday 14 October 2016 at 10.00 am;

·         Tuesday 6 December 2016 at 10.00 am;

·         Friday 10 February 2017 at 10.00 am;

·         Friday 7 April 2017 at 10.00 am

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That the following dates and times of future meetings of the Panel be noted:-

 

Friday 12 August 2016 at 10.00 am;

Friday 14 October 2016 at 10.00 am;

Tuesday 6 December 2016 at 10.00 am;

Friday 10 February 2017 at 10.00 am;

Friday 7 April 2017 at 10.00 am.