Report to Rights of Way Committee by sdfsb346f

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                           Report to Rights of Way Committee
                           19 June 2009

TITLE OF REPORT:           Re-alignment of rights of way at Pockerley
                           Buildings

REPORT OF:                 Derek Quinn, Group Director, Development and
                           Enterprise


Summary

This report relates to the proposed re-alignment of two rights of way on the
former quarry and land-fill site at Pockerley Quarry, Lamesley.


Purpose of the report

1)   To seek authority from the Rights of Way Committee for the drawing up
     of agreements with the landowners for the re-alignment of Lamesley
     Footpath 73 and Lamesley Bridleway 74 at Pockerley Quarry.

Background

2)   On the 1st December 2003, following the restoration of the former landfill
     site at Pockerley Quarry, agreements were drawn up with the then
     landowners for the creation of several new rights of way, including
     Lamesley Footpath 73 on the western side of the site and Lamesley
     Bridleway 74 on the southern side of the site. The establishment of these
     rights of way was a condition of the planning consent application 789/96
     dated 4th February 1997, which was subsequently discharged by the
     relevant parties entering into a public path creation agreement, to
     dedicate the prescribed rights of way in the above planning permission.

3)   The rights of way were established on the ground roughly along the
     alignments A – B & C – D as indicated on the attached plan in Appendix
     2. At the same time, plans were drawn up by the Council to accompany
     the public path creation agreements, which were signed by the then
     landowners.

4)   A subsequent change of ownership of the eastern section of the land,
     and an associated boundary dispute, along with a survey of the land,
     brought into question the accuracy of the original plans recording the
     alignments of the routes as they appeared on the ground. In both cases,
     the existing recorded line of the path differs significantly with the actual
     line of the path on the ground. As a result, the Council now proposes to
     modify the alignments of Footpath 73 and Bridleway 74 to rectify these
     alignment anomalies and to ensure that both rights of way are fully open
     and accessible to the public.
Proposals

5)   To enable the alignments of these two rights of way to be corrected, the
     following actions are now proposed:

      i) The creation of a bridleway route A – B shown on the plan at
           appendix 2, which largely follows the existing route on the ground
           but which is modified slightly at the western end to avoid passing
           over on to the neighbouring property via a public path creation
           agreement;
      ii) The extinguishment of the recorded route of Bridleway 74 which
           does not tally with the used route on the ground by Order;
      iii) The creation of a footpath route C – D shown on the plan at
           appendix 2, which follows the currently used route via a public path
           creation agreement;
      iv) The extinguishment of the existing Footpath 73, which does not tally
           with the used route on the ground by Order.

Legislation

6)   Section 25(1) of the Highways Act 1980 enables a local authority to
     enter into a public path creation agreement with ‘any person having the
     necessary power in that behalf for the dedication by that person of a
     footpath, bridleway or restricted bridleway over land in their area’.

7)   Section 25(3) of the Highways Act 1980 requires consultation with any
     other local authority in whose area the land is concerned before an
     agreement is entered into.

8)   Section 25(4) of the Highways Act 1980 states an agreement under this
     section shall be on such terms as to payment or otherwise as may be
     specified in the agreement. The Creation of new paths: A code of
     practice for local highway authorities involved in negotiating
     compensation, advises that, payments or enhancements on valuations,
     should be made whenever possible, in order to secure agreement with
     the landowners. In this case, a negotiated payment for the bridleway
     with the landowner has been reached of £1000.00.

9)   Section 25(6) of the Highways Act 1980 requires as soon as the
     dedication of footpath, bridleway or restricted byway takes place via the
     public path creation agreement, notice of the dedication needs to be
     given in at least one local newspaper circulating in the area in which the
     land to which the agreement relates.

10) Section 118 of the Highways Act 1980 enables a footpath, bridleway, or
    restricted byway to be stopped up or extinguished on the ground that it is
    expedient that the rights of way is not needed for public use. In this case
    as Footpath 73 and Bridleway 74 will be replaced on a similar alignment,
    the existing Bridleway 74 and Footpath 73 routes are not deemed
    necessary by the public and should therefore be extinguished.
11) Section 28 of the Highways Act 1980 entitles compensation to be
    payable to anyone who is able to show that the value of their interest in
    the land has depreciated or they have suffered damage by being
    disturbed in their enjoyment of land as a consequence of a creation,
    diversion or extinguishment order. Applicants will be asked to defray
    any claim for compensation in advance of the public path extinguishment
    orders being made or any compensation claimed will be agreed with
    committee before the Orders are made.

12)   Section 29 of the Highways Act 1980 places a duty on local authorities
      to have regard to agriculture and forestry, and the desirability of
      conserving flora, fauna and geological and physiographical features.
      There are no such potential implications in this matter.

Consultation

13)   Because these proposals are merely rectifying an alignment anomaly
      in relation to the two rights of way, a full consultation is not considered
      necessary for the creation agreements, as it is not statutorily
      prescribed apart from other local authorities in the area being notified.
      However, despite this, the local user groups have been made aware
      and are concerned about recent problems on Bridleway 74 brought
      about by the boundary dispute and have asked the Council to resolve
      these as soon as possible. Informal discussions with the bridleway user
      groups have suggested that these groups will be happy with the
      proposals. Furthermore consultation and negotiation has taken place
      with the two landowners concerned.

14) Formal consultation will be undertaken with the making of the public path
    extinguishment orders and if agreed by Members, informal consultation
    in writing will be undertaken before the making of the Orders.

Costs & Implementation

15)   Because the current problems with the two routes have come about in
      part due to the inaccuracy of plans used by the landowners, when the
      routes were first dedicated, it is considered expedient to resolve the
      alignment problems as soon as possible. The Council is prepared to
      meet the cost of preparing the legal agreements and associated
      advertising as well as making a payment under the public path creation
      agreement to the landowner to secure agreement, for the land lost to
      the new alignment of the bridleway. These two commitments are likely
      to amount to approximately £2500.00 The Council will also meet the
      cost to improve both rights of way and for the installation of new vehicle
      access controls.
16)    A summary of the proposed accommodation works to take place and to
       be incorporated into the public path creation agreement are:

      a) A new vehicle access into the south west corner of the land;
      b) A drainage ditch cleaned out along its length and culverted where
         new field access crosses it;
      c) A fence between the bridleway and field repaired or strengthened
         and new gates installed at vehicle access point;
      d) New access controls to prevent illegal tipping etc;
      e) Possible improvements to access at end of the bridleway, including
         stoning of existing route down the steep slope into the field;
      f) Other landscaping and drainage works which might be associated
         with the bridleway improvement works.

Recommendations

17) Approval is sought from the Rights of Way Committee for the following:

                  i. A public path extinguishment order to remove the current
                     bridleway and replace it with the re-aligned bridleway via
                     a public path creation agreement as described above;
                 ii. A public path extinguishment order to remove the current
                     footpath and replace it with the re-aligned footpath via a
                     public path creation agreement as described above.

      If the Committee recommends that such action should be taken, it is
      requested that the Strategic Director of Legal & Corporate Services be
      authorised to carry out the following:

           (1) To draft and advertise and complete a public path creation
               agreement to re-align Bridleway 74 Lamesley;
           (2) To consult, draft and make a public path extinguishment order to
               remove the present Bridleway 74 Lamesley; if no objections are
               received, to authorise the Strategic Director, Legal and
               Corporate Services to confirm the order or if objections are
               received and not subsequently withdrawn, to authorise the
               Strategic Director, Legal and Corporate Services to send the
               order to the First Secretary of State for confirmation as an
               opposed order;
           (3) To draft and advertise and complete a public path creation
               agreement to re-align Footpath 73 Lamesley;
           (4) To consult, draft and make a public path extinguishment order to
               remove the present Footpath 73 Lamesley; if no objections are
               received, to confirm the order or if objections are received and
               not subsequently withdrawn, to send the order to the First
               Secretary of State for confirmation as an opposed order.


Contact:      Roy Deane Ext 3141
                                                                    APPENDIX 1

1.   FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS

     The Strategic Director, Finance & ICT confirms that there are no
     financial implications arising from this report. The costs of making and
     advertising the order and the cost of establishing the new routes will be
     covered by existing budgets.

2.   EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES IMPLICATIONS

     None

3.   STAFFING IMPLICATIONS

     Staff from Legal & Corporate Services, in conjunction with the Public
     Rights of Way Officer, will carry out the processing of the orders.

4.   ACCOMMODATION IMPLICATIONS

     None

5.   CRIME & DISORDER IMPLICATIONS

     None

6.   ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS

     None

7.   HUMAN RIGHTS IMPLICATIONS

     The applicable rights to be considered are the right to protection of
     property, right to a fair trial and right to respect for private life. However
     the Highways Act 1980 provides a legal basis for interference with these
     rights and the risk of these rights being infringed is addressed via the
     fact that negotiation and consultation has taken place with the relevant
     landowners over the proposals and any orders made are subject to an
     objection period and the statutory legal process.

8.   WARD IMPLICATIONS

     Lamesley

9.   BACKGROUND INFORMATION

     None

								
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