Agenda and minutes

Commons and Rights of Way Committee - Monday 16 May 2022 10.00 am

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

Items
No. Item

8.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 116 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 29 March 2022.

Minutes:

Resolved

That the minutes of the previous meeting held on 29 March 2022 be approved as a correct record.

9.

Declarations of Interest

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

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

 

At this juncture, Cllr Dr David Willingham informed the Committee that he had undertaken an independent informal site visit on Thursday 12 May 2022.

10.

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 10:00am on 9 May 2022.  Please send questions marked for the attention of Joanne Bolton (email: joanne.bolton@gloucestershire.gov.uk).

Minutes:

No public questions had been received on the application before the Committee.

11.

Member 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 10:00am on Monday 9 May 2022.  Please send questions marked for the attention of Joanne Bolton (email: joanne.bolton@gloucestershire.gov.uk).

Minutes:

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

12.

573/11/147(11) APPLICATION FOR A MODIFICATION ORDER TO ADD A PUBLIC FOOTPATH CONNECTING SPINNEY COURT WITH THE ROUNDABOUTS, BRIMSCOMBE, MINCHINHAMPTON PARISH pdf icon PDF 407 KB

Nature of Application: To add a public footpath connecting Spinney Court with The Roundabouts, Minchinhampton Parish

District: Stroud

Name of Applicant: Mr C. E. Morris

Date of Application: 4 November 2019

Additional documents:

Minutes:

12.1    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 has been uploaded to the Council’s website.)

 

12.2    The Committee considered the application for a Definitive Map Modification Order (DMMO) to add a public footpath connecting Spinney Court with the Roundabouts, Minchinhampton Parish.  The claimed route was shown running between points A and B, on the Plan attached at Appendix JH2 to the report.

 

12.3    The Asset Data Officer informed the Committee that it was not clear as to who owned the land over which the claimed path crossed.  The applicant had therefore been authorised to erect impersonal notices to ‘Owners and Occupiers’, to notify anyone with an interest in the claim.  Land Registry showed part of the claimed path as unregistered and part within the curtilage of No.5. Weavers Row.  This was shown to be incorrect however by means of a conveyance plan, dated 12 August 1971, which showed the claimed path excluded from the curtilage of No.5 Weavers Row. 

 

12.4    The Asset Data Officer explained that in an aim to ascertain who the landowner was, Stroud District Council’s historic ‘Permission for Development’ notices had been inspected over the period July 1965 - July 1995.  An application dated 1 February 1971, had been identified as being submitted by Hatherley Developments Ltd.  Certificate A, which formed part of the application, declared that Hatherley Developments Ltd was the landowner.  The accompanying site plan encompassed Weavers (originally Church) Row, the garages, Spinney Court, and the claimed path.  Although the application did not refer to the steps or the claimed path, an accompanying plan under the same application reference, showed manholes and storm water drainage pipes located under the claimed path which was shown having a series of steps.  The Asset Data Officer clarified that Hatherley Developments Ltd could be found online today but as a business it only dated to May 2010. 

 

12.5    The Asset Data Officer informed members that Hatherley Development Ltd submitted Spinney Court and the claimed path for adoption as publicly maintainable highways in the 1970s under Sections 38 and 39 of the Highways Act 1959.  Spinney Court was accepted as detailed in the letter of adoption dated 12 January 1978, but the claimed path was rejected for adoption.  The Asset Data Officer explained that it was unclear whether anyone associated with Hatherley Developments Ltd retained a legal interest in the land that the claimed path crossed. 

 

12.6    The Asset Data Officer advised the Committee that there was no explicit reference in Section 31(1) Highways Act 1980 of use having to be of a level to have come to the attention of the landowner.  It did not speak of a landowner being deemed to have dedicated the way, but of the way being deemed to have been dedicated, i.e., irrespective of the existence or non-existence of a person capable of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

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 10:00am on Monday 9 May 2022.  Please send questions to the Chief Executive marked for the attention of Joanne Bolton (email: joanne.bolton@gloucestershire.gov.uk).

Minutes:

No public questions had been received on the powers and duties of the Committee.

14.

Member Questions - About the matters which are within the powers and duties of the Committee pdf icon PDF 129 KB

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 10:00am on Monday 9 May 2022.  Please send questions to the Chief Executive marked for the attention of Joanne Bolton (email: joanne.bolton@gloucestershire.gov.uk).

Minutes:

14.1    Three questions had been received from Cllr Dr David Willingham.  A copy of the questions and answers had been circulated and uploaded to the Council’s website. 

 

The Committee noted the questions and answers.

 

14.2    Cllr Dr Willingham commented that the amount of work the officers had to undertake to bring DMMO applications forward for determination, whether under delegated authority or to the Committee, was not inconsiderable.  As a supplementary question, he asked whether, given the rate at which applications were being received by GCC, the rate at which they were being determined and the amount of applications that were currently undetermined, the Chair would be willing to write to the Cabinet Member responsible for Public Rights of Way to highlight the issue that more resources were needed for the team, to enable the applications to be dealt with more quickly.  He commented that from his point of view he represented an urban division, and ramblers had connected with him about issues in his area; however, this would to a greater extent affect the rural population given that Gloucestershire was predominately a rural county.  He commented that some people were waiting a considerable number of years for determination of their application, and therefore it was right to ask for more resources to be provided.  He asked whether the Chair could write to the Cabinet member on this issue and provide feedback on any response at a subsequent meeting.  

 

14.3    The Chair informed the Committee that he had not previously written to the Cabinet Member on an official basis, but that he had raised this issue with him verbally.  The Chair pointed out that it was only a small team that dealt with DMMOs and therefore it was unlikely that the backlog of undetermined DMMO applications could be cleared in the near future.  He also pointed out there were recruitment challenges, and that this was a national issue.   He confirmed that he would make contact with the Cabinet Member to raise the issue of resources.  He also suggested that it would be of value for the Cabinet member to be invited to observe a future meeting of the Committee.

 

14.4    Andrew Houldey, Asset Data Officer, reported that funding had been allocated for the provision of two additional fixed term posts – one Asset Data Officer, and one Asset Data Officer Technician.  He explained that there had been an increase in the number of DMMOs being received recently.  This was in response to the 2026 deadline to record historic footpaths and bridleways on the Definitive Map.  The 2026 deadline had now been informally abandoned, but it had raised interest and therefore DMMO applications were continuing to be received by GCC.

 

14.5    A member questioned whether the DMMO application before the Committee, could have been determined by officers, outside of the committee process, under delegated powers.  In response, Andrew Houldey, Asset Data Officer, explained that in other authorities DMMO applications were almost always dealt with by officers under delegated powers.  A GCC internal  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.