Agenda and minutes

Commons and Rights of Way Committee
Thursday 9 June 2016 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions

Contact: Jo Bolton 

Items
No. Item

15.

Election of Chairman

To elect a Chairman for the civic year.

Minutes:

Resolved:

           

That Cllr Tony Hicks be elected as Chairman for the Civic Year.

 

Cllr Hicks expressed his thanks to the Committee’s previous Chairman, Cllr Paul McMahon, for chairing the meetings of the Committee very effectively, especially given the complex issues considered recently.

 

16.

Election of Vice Chairman

To elect a Vice-Chairman for the civic year.

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

That the election of Vice-Chairman for the civic year be deferred until the next meeting.

 

17.

Minutes - pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meetings held on 21 March 2016 and 13 April 2016.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved:

 

That the minutes of the previous meetings of 21 March 2016 and 13 April 2016 be approved as a correct record.

18.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

Cllr John Cordwell declared an interest in agenda item 7 and would therefore retire from the meeting at that stage.

 

19.

Public Questions on Application(s)

To answer any written or public questions about the application(s) before the Committee at this meeting.  The closing date /time for the receipt of questions is 10 am on 2 June 2016.  Please send questions to the Chief Executive marked for the attention of Joanne Bolton (email: joanne.bolton@gloucestershire.gov.uk).

 

With the consent of the Chairman, to answer any oral question(s) on the application(s) before the Committee at this meeting put by members of the public, where notice of such has been given by the Chief Executive (or their representative) by 9.30 am on 9 June 2016.

 

Depending on the nature of the oral questions asked it may not be possible to provide a comprehensive answer at the meeting, in which case a written answer will be supplied as soon as reasonably possible after the meeting.

 

Minutes:

No questions from members of the public on the applications before the Committee had been received.

 

20.

Members Questions on Application(s)

To answer any written members’ questions on the application(s) before Committee at the meeting. The closing date/time for the receipt of questions is 10am on 2 June 2016.  Please send questions to the Chief Executive marked for the attention of Joanne Bolton (email: joanne.bolton@gloucestershire.gov.uk).

 

Minutes:

No questions from members on the applications before the Committee had been received.

21.

Application for a Definitive Map Modification Order for Additional Length of Public Footpath at Castlett Bank, Parish Of Guiting Power pdf icon PDF 354 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

21.1    Andrew Houldey, Asset Data Officer (PROW Definitive Map) gave a presentation to the Committee aided by a power-point presentation which included photographs of the claimed way.  (For information – A copy of the presentation slides has been uploaded to the Council’s website, and a copy is included in the signed minute book).

 

21.2    The Committee noted that the act which brought the right of the public to use the way into question was the erection of new stock fencing undertaken by the landowner in 1997, at point C (as shown on Appendix B1 of the report) and an accompanying sign at the same position.  An application for an additional footpath at Castlett Bank, was received by the County Council on 10 July 2009.  The qualifying period of use was taken to be 1977 to 1997.

 

21.3    In response to questions from the Committee the following matters were noted:

 

21.3.1There were two landowners; Guiting Manor Amenity Trust owned the woodland at Castlett Bank (section A-B of the claimed path), and the field (B-C of the claimed path) was owned by Mr and Mrs Forbes. 

 

21.3.2 A trustee of Guiting Manor Amenity Trust had confirmed via a telephone conversation in September 2015, that the Trust had no comments and no objections to the application.

 

21.3.3 Members noted that Mr and Mrs Forbes were not in support of the application. Mr and Mrs Forbes commented on the application on 19 October 2015, indicating that there was no visible evidence of a path in 2009 when they were notified of the application.  They had also indicated in a letter received 19 November 2015 that the path was not purposively blocked as there was no legal evidence that it existed.  They had erected a stock fence in 1997 upon their ownership to replace the existing one as it was no longer stock proof.

 

21.3.4 The photograph showing the Slab stile at point B, looking south-east towards point C was supplied by the applicant in 2007, but was not dated. In 2009 officers visited the site and discovered that the area around point B had become much more overgrown (than shown in the applicant’s photograph taken pre -2007), and looked to have fallen into disuse.

 

21.3.5 A member made reference to the claimed path being detailed on the 1880s, 1903 and 1922 editions of the Ordnance Survey Maps of the area.  He felt that this was clear evidence of a footpath existing and in use at that time.  He acknowledged however that this was in contrast to there being no evidence of the existence of the footpath, in maps, and other documentary sources, of recent years.

 

21.3.6 Officers explained that as part of the legal test to determine on the balance of probabilities whether the right of way subsisted, the documentary evidence on a whole would be taken into account, and a judgement made as to how much weight was placed on particular aspects.  Historic Ordnance Survey maps were not strong evidence that a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

Application for a Definitive Map Modification Order for additional footpaths in Coombe, Wotton-under-Edge. pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

22.1    Jaci Harris, Asset Data Officer (PROW definitive Map), gave a detailed presentation to the Committee aided by a power-point presentation which included photographs of the route under consideration.  (For information – A copy of the presentation slides has been uploaded to the Council’s website, and a copy is included in the signed minute book).

 

22.2    The Committee noted that in December 2008 Wotton-under-Edge Town Council formally submitted an application for the path to be added to the Definitive Map.  This was the act which brought  the right of the public to use the way into question.  Therefore the qualifying period of use was taken to be December 1988 to 2008.

 

22.3    It was noted that the landowners Mr and Mrs Lloyd-Jones owned most of the land over which the claimed path ran but there was a section which was un-registered (detailed at Appendix K in the report).  The landowner had taken no action to indicate a lack of intention to dedicate the claimed path, and had never challenged anyone’s right to use it or asserted that walkers use it with his permission. The construction of a stile and gate at the southern end of the claimed path and the regular clearance of the path by the landowner could be seen as a positive acknowledgement of the public’s right of way.

 

22.4    Written statements were received from 8 local people who had known and used the route regularly for various periods.  5 of the claimants had used the route throughout all of the 20 year qualifying period, with 3 others using it for lesser lengths of time.  Officers were satisfied that there was sufficient activity on the claimed footpath to represent uninterrupted use by the public.

 

22.5    In response to a question, Ms Harris explained that the claimed route was shown on the Tithe Map1847 of the area, but its status whether public or private was undefined.  The path was shown to travel across plot 342 an arable field and lead to plot 344 which was a pasture field.  The fact that the claimed path did not proceed beyond plot 344 suggested that it may originally have been used as a private access track to enable an owner to reach his land across a neighbour’s field.

 

22.6    Having considered all of the information before it, the Committee

 

Resolved:

 

            That an order be made to add a length of public footpath to the Definitive Map of Public Rights of Way between points A-B.

23.

Public Questions -

To answer any written or public questions about the matters, which are within the powers and duties of the Committee.

The closing date /time for the receipt of questions is 10 am on 2 June 2016.  Please send questions to the Chief Executive marked for the attention of Joanne Bolton (email: joanne.bolton@gloucestershire.gov.uk)

 

To answer any oral question(s) put by members of the public, subject to any question having been registered  by 9.30 am on 9 June 2016.

 

Depending on the nature of the oral questions asked it may not be possible to provide a comprehensive answer at the meeting, in which case a written answer will be supplied as soon as reasonably possible after the meeting.

Minutes:

No questions have been received from members of the public.

 

24.

Members' Questions -

To answer any written members’ questions. The closing date/time for the receipt of questions is 10 am on 2 June 2016.  Please send questions to the Chief Executive marked for the attention of Joanne Bolton (email: joanne.bolton@gloucestershire.gov.uk).

Minutes:

No questions had been received from members.