Agenda and minutes

Commons and Rights of Way Committee
Friday 21 June 2019 10.00 am

Venue: Cabinet Suite - Shire Hall, Gloucester. View directions

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chair

To elect a Chair for the ensuing civic year.

Minutes:

Resolved

That Cllr Phil Awford be elected Chair for the ensuing civic year.

 

2.

Election of Vice Chair

To elect a Vice Chair for the ensuing civic year.

Minutes:

Resolved

          That Cllr John Cordwell be elected Vice-Chair for the ensuing civicyear.

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 86 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 December 2018.

Minutes:

Resolved

 

That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 11 December 2018 be approved and signed 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 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 Friday 14 June 2019.  Please send questions to the Chief Executive marked for the attention of Joanne Bolton (email: joanne.bolton@gloucestershire.gov.uk).

 

To answer any urgent question(s) on the application(s) before the Committee, which the Chair considered could not have been reasonably submitted by the deadline for the receipt of written questions, where notice of such has been given to the Chief Executive marked for the attention of Joanne Bolton by 12:00 noon on Thursday 20 June 2019.

 

Depending on the nature of the urgent 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 Friday 14 June 2019.  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 for a Modification Order for an additional length of Public Footpath linking Rose Hill and Far Wells Road. Bisley, Gloucestershire pdf icon PDF 759 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

7.1      Jaci Harris, Asset Data Officer (PROW Definitive Map), gave a detailed presentation to the Committee aided by a PowerPoint 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.)

 

7.2         The Asset Data Officer explained that an application was made by Bisley Parish Council on 2 May 2019.  The subject of the application was a 15m length of footpath linking Rose Hill with Far Wells Road in Bisley with Lypiatt, Gloucestershire.  The Committee noted the route of the claimed path as outlined in Map GCC2 to the report.  The path was situated between two properties (‘The Firs’, and ‘Greystones’), and was on unregistered land.

 

7.3         The Committee was informed that the documentary evidence in support of the path was not compelling in terms of quantity.  This may have been due to the path measuring only 15 metres in length, and the 1” and 2” smaller scale maps not being able to display it clearly.  The Asset Data Officer drew the Committee’s attention to the Tithe Map 1842 at GGC4 to the report, and the Finance Act Map 1910 at GCC7 to the report, which she explained portrayed the path in a similar manner to the other known highways at that time, albeit much narrower. 

 

7.4         The Committee noted that as part of the 1950s process of officially recording the public rights of way network the Parish Council considered the path to carry highways rights and claimed it as a public footpath.  However, it did not appear in the maps of subsequent stages of the process, again possibly due to its shortness of length or the scale of the map.  The Asset Data Officer confirmed that she had found no evidence of any objections to the path with regard to its inclusion on the legal record; she had therefore determined that the Parish Council would have intended to dedicate the path as a public highway.

 

7.5         The Asset Data Officer drew the Committee’s attention to paragraph 11 of the report which outlined the content of the single response received to the consultation from Mr Flowers of Greystones.  She explained that Mr Flowers had provided background information regarding some neighbourly disputes in the area over the claimed footpath.  The Committee was advised that Gloucestershire County Council had not taken into account the information concerning the disagreements, as part of the determination of the evidence, and it was not a relevant point of consideration for the Committee.

 

7.6         The Committee noted that there were two potential dates to consider (2015 and 2017), when determining the date as to when the public’s use of the path was challenged.

 

7.7         The Asset Data Officer explained that in her previous role as a Public Rights of Way Officer, she had had a conversation with Ms Prior of Greystones at the site of the claimed path, she had also sent an  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

Application for a Modification Order for additional length of Public Footpath at Bowbridge, Stroud, Gloucestershire pdf icon PDF 244 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

8.1      Jaci Harris, Asset Data Officer (PROW Definitive Map), gave a detailed presentation to the Committee aided by a PowerPoint 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 Asset Data Officer explained that an application was made by Mrs Fernando, a member of Stroud Ramblers Group, on 11 November 2016.    The subject of the application was a 338m long path connecting public footpaths ZST50 and ZST54 across an area of land in Bowbridge Stroud.    The Committee noted the route of the claimed path as outlined in Map JH2 to the report.

 

8.3         The Committee was informed that there was little documentary evidence to support the claim.  Gloucestershire Archives, commissioned to compile a report into the history of the path, found no record of the claimed path on any historical documents and maps.  In addition, the path was not claimed under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 process.  Two Ordnance Survey maps showed the physical existence and extent of the claimed path, however those maps carried a disclaimer that any representation of a road, track or path was not evidence of the existence of a right of way over it. 

 

8.4         The Asset Data Officer explained that the documentary evidence was insufficient on its own to infer on the balances of probabilities, that the claimed route was dedicated as a public highway.  Consequently, the application would be determined upon evidence of long user under Section 31 of the Highways Act 1981, or at common law.

 

8.5         The Committee was informed that no action had been taken by the landowner to question or challenge the public’s use of the claimed path. In such cases Section 69 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 (NERC) provided that the date of the Definitive Map Modification Order application could be used in accordance with paragraph 1 of the Schedule 14 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

 

8.6         The Committee noted that the user evidence had therefore been assessed over the 20 year period between 1996-2016 leading up to the application.

 

8.7         The Asset Data Officer drew the Committee’s attention to the summary of the Public Path Evidence Forms (PPEFs)  as outlined at JH8 to the report.  The Committee noted that 13 PPEFs completed by 13 individual members of the public were submitted in support of the application; use of the paths dated back to 1932. 

 

8.8         The Asset Data Officer further drew the Committee’s attention to the main points of a signed statement made by Mr M Cullimore, who held Power of Attorney for the business affairs of Mr R Cullimore, the landowner.  The statement was submitted by Katie Moylan of Sewell Mullings Logie LLP Solicitors and was included at JH7 to the report. In particular reference was made to his point that the evidence of 6 individual users should be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Public Questions - About the matters which are within the powers and duties of the Committee

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 Friday 14 June 2019.  Please send questions to the Chief Executive marked for the attention of Joanne Bolton (email: joanne.bolton@gloucestershire.gov.uk).

 

To answer any urgent questions(s) about the matters, which are within the powers and duties of the Committee, which the Chair considers could not have been reasonably submitted by the deadline for the receipt of written questions, subject to any question being registered by 12:00 noon on Thursday 20 June 2019.

 

Depending on the nature of the urgent 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 matters which were within the powers and duties of the Committee.

10.

Members' Questions - About the matters which are within the powers and duties of the Committee

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 Friday 14 June 2019.  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.