Report of the Director of Corporate Services
The Panel considered a report of the Director of Corporate Services regarding an application by Mrs. C. Towle for a Modification Order under Section 53 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to add a Public Footpath running from Coney Greave Lane to Public Footpath No. 19 Cheadle to the County Council’s Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way.
The report was presented verbally to take Members through the various legal, documentary and historical evidence relevant to the application. The Director also made reference to case law which dealt with the weight to be given to that evidence and gave guidance on the legal tests which they should apply. In applying these tests, Members were made aware that they should examine the evidence in its totality.
Members had regard to the appendices attached to the report including;- (i) a plan of the claimed route; (ii) a copy of the application; (iii) copies of User Evidence Forms; (iv) a table summarising data from the User Evidence Forms; (v) documentary evidence; (vi) a copy of a Landowner Form submitted by Mr. S.W. Campbell; (vi) a copy of a Landowner Form submitted by Mr. H, Harley; (vii) copies of correspondence received from various Statutory Consultees.
Following their detailed consideration of the application, the Panel decided that from the available evidence, the civil test of ‘Balance of Probabilities’ was satisfied in relation to Section 53(3)(c)(i) of the Act ie ‘that a Right of Way which is not shown in the map and statement subsists’ owing to the user evidence submitted which showed that the public had used the alleged route, as of right and without interruption, for a period of at least 20 years prior to the status of the route being brought into question and the absence of an identifiable event which brought into question the use of the path.
RESOLVED – (a) That the report be received and noted.
(b) That the evidence submitted by the applicant and that discovered by the County Council is sufficient to conclude that a Public Footpath which is not shown on the Definitive Map and Statement is reasonably alleged to subsist along the route shown marked A to B on the plan attached at Appendix A to the report and should be added to the Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way as such.
(c) That an Order be made to add the alleged Public Footpath at Coney Greave Lane to the Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way for the District of Staffordshire Moorlands.