Agenda and minutes

Commons and Rights of Way Committee
Tuesday 30 January 2018 10.00 am

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

Contact: Joanne Bolton - 01452 324197 

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chairman

To elect a Chairman for the ensuing civic year.

Minutes:

Resolved

That Cllr Phil Awford be elected Chairman for the remainder of the civic year.

 

2.

Election of Vice Chairman

To elect a Vice Chairman for the ensuing civic year.

Minutes:

Resolved

That Cllr John Cordwell be elected Vice Chairman for the remainder of the civic year.

 

3.

Minutes - pdf icon PDF 269 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 30th March 2017.

Minutes:

Resolved

 

That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 30 March 2017 be approved as a correct record.

 

4.

Declarations of Interest

Please see note (b) at the end of the agenda.

Minutes:

No declarations of interests were made.

 

5.

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 23 January 2018.  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 30 January 2018.

 

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 public questions had been received on the applications before the Committee.

6.

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 23 January 2018.  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.

7.

Application to register land off Hardings Drive, at Stinchcombe Hill, Dursley, Gloucestershire as a Town or Village Green, pursuant to Section 15(2) of the Commons Act 2006 pdf icon PDF 475 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

7.1      Carrie Denness, Principal Lawyer, gave a detailed presentation of the report, aided by a power-point presentation, on the application to register land off Hardings Drive, Stinchcombe Hill, Dursley Gloucestershire, as a town or village green under Section 15 (2) of The Commons Act 2006. (For information – A copy of the slides is included in the minute book and has been uploaded to the Council’s website).

 

7.2      During a detailed introduction the Principal Lawyer highlighted that the application before the Committee primarily failed on the legal test regarding neighbourhood. She explained that the Inspector did not hear or see evidence to determine that the claimed neighbourhood within the Kingshill and Central Wards of Dursley was in fact a neighbourhood within the meaning of the Commons Act 2006.

 

7.3      The Committee noted the detailed findings of the Inspector following the non-statutory inquiry which took place between the 2-6 October 2017.  This included an accompanied site visit and closing submissions on the 6 October 2017.

 

7.4      The Principal Lawyer informed the Committee that the application did not follow the standard procedure, given the landowners as objectors did not play a full role in the non-statutory public inquiry.  She explained that due to the landowners not having complied with the Inspectors directions, in regards to submitting their evidence before the deadline date, they were only permitted to attend and address the Inquiry as general members of the public.

 

7.5      The Principal Lawyer informed the Committee that the Inspector had ascertained that there were no community facilities within the claimed neighbourhood, and there were no local organisations or associations which were common to the whole of the claimed neighbourhood.  Whilst the individual roads which made up the claimed neighbourhood were all clustered around the Application Land, they were not all physically connected. Access to the Application Land could only be gained through one of the roads. The Committee noted that none of the applicants’ witnesses were able to satisfactorily explain why the neighbourhood was a genuine neighbourhood beyond reference to the Application Land itself.

 

7.6      The Principal Lawyer informed the Committee that as a result of the findings the Inspector had concluded that the claimed neighbourhood was an artificial construct for the purposes of the application.

 

7.7      The Committee was informed that the Inspector had considered the other elements of the legal test for completeness.  The result of this was that the Inspector did not see or hear evidence that was considered sufficient for her to conclude that there had been consistent and regular use of the whole of the Application Land for lawful sports and pastimes throughout the whole of the 20 year application period (i.e. 30 September 1993 to 30 September 2013). The Inspector had determined that the land was mainly used for footpath type use.

 

7.8      Having considered the information before it including the Inspector’s Recommendation, the Committee

           

            Resolved

           

            That the Application dated 30 September 2013 made by Mr and Mrs Andrews (‘The Applicants’) for the registration of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Application for a Definitive Map Modification Order for an additional length of Public Footpath. Rodborough Avenue to Bath Road, Parish of Rodborough pdf icon PDF 314 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

8.2      The Committee was informed that an application was received on 15 December 2006, made by Theresa Mansbridge, on behalf of Rodborough Parish Council, for an additional length of footpath to be added to the Definitive Map.

 

8.3      The Committee noted the route of the claimed path between Rodborough Avenue and Bath Road from point A-E on the location map attached at Annex 1B to the report.   

 

8.4      The Asset Data Officer explained that whilst there was no overt act that could be considered to have brought the right of the public to use the way into question, Section 69 of the 2006 Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act clarified that an application for a definitive map modification order was sufficient to bring a right of way into question under Section 53 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981. He explained that as the application for a Definitive Map Modification Order was made in 2006, for the purposes of Section 31 of the Highways Act 1980, the 20 year qualifying period was from 1986 to 2006. 

 

8.5      He informed the Committee however, that the claimed path between points B-E ran over Crown land.    The Highways Act did not bind the Crown, therefore any claim for a right of way across Crown land could not rely on the 20 year provisions of the 1980 Act.  The application was therefore being considered under common law.

 

8.6      The Asset Data Officer explained that although the land was owned by the Crown, it was not part of the Crown Estate unless the Crown completed the escheat, by taking steps to assert rights as its owner.  He informed members that the Crown Estate’s solicitor had confirmed by letter that the land had been disclaimed.  It was the contention of officers however, that as the land was owned by the Crown, then despite the Notice of Disclaimer, it would be considered to be Crown land in determining the application.

 

8.7      The Asset Data Officer explained that a total of 11 public path evidence forms, completed by 14 named individuals, had been submitted in support of the application, with use dating as far back as 1969. It was noted that seven witnesses had used the path for the full 20 year period prior to 2006, and one witness had used it for 19 years and another for 17 years.

 

8.8      The Committee was informed that were two objectors to the application, both of the objectors claimed to be the owners of the track to the garages from points A-B.  However, it had been determined that the freehold was not registered with either of the objectors; members noted that the actual landowner  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Public Questions pdf icon PDF 116 KB

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 10am on 23 January 2018.  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 9.30am on 30 January 2018.

 

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:

The Committee noted that two written public questions on matters which were within the powers and duties of the Committee had been received. The responses to those questions had been published on the Council’s website, and circulated to the Committee in advance of the meeting.

10.

Members' Questions

To answer any written members’ questions about the matters, which are within the powers and duties of the Committee. The closing date/time for the receipt of questions is 10am on 23 January 2018.  Please send questions to the Chief Executive marked for the attention of Joanne Bolton (email: joanne.bolton@gloucestershire.gov.uk).

 

 

Minutes:

No written questions from members had been received on matters which were within the powers and duties of the Committee.