Report of Director of Corporate Services
The Panel considered a report of the Director of Corporate Services regarding an application by Border Bridleway Association for a Modification Order under Section 53 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to add a Public Bridleway from Wedgewood Lane (near Marshfield Farms) to Hill Lane (near Acorn Lodge), Gillow Heath, Staffordshire Moorlands 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, historical and user evidence relevant to the application. The Director also made reference to case law which dealt with the weight to be given to the 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.
During their consideration of the application, 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 of Usage; (v) a copy of Finance Act 1910 Plan; (vi) a copy of Inclosure Award Plan; (vii) a copy of OS Plan 1889 and; (viii) a copy of the Landowner’s response.
The “Local” Member for the area spoke on the Application and expressed their support for the recommendations contained in the report.
The Panel decided that the available evidence was sufficient to conclude that a Public Bridleway which was not currently shown on the Definitive Map and Statement subsisted along the claimed route. In addition, they considered the Bridleway should have a minimum width of two metres as opposed to the three metres referred to in the report (which the Director explained was an average of the widths stated in the submitted User Evidence Forms (referred to in (iii) above)).
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 show that a Public Bridleway which is not currently shown on the Definitive Map and Statement for the District of Staffordshire Moorlands subsists along the route shown marked on the Plan attached at Appendix A to the report should be added to the County Council’s Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way as such.
(c) That an Order be made under Section 53(3)(c)(i) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to add the Public Bridleway shown on the plan attached at Appendix A to the report to the County Council’s Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way for the District of Staffordshire Moorlands, with a minimum width of two metres.