Agenda and draft minutes

Rights of Way Committee
Tuesday, 25th June, 2019 2.15 pm

Venue: County Hall, Chichester

Contact: Tracey Guinea on 033 022 28679  Email:  tracey.guinea@westsussex.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Committee Members

Minutes:

1.1     The Committe thanked Mrs Duncton for her work on the Committee and welcomed Mr Boram as a member.  The Committee also wished it noted that Mr Baldwin is unwell and wished him a speedy recovery.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Members and officers must declare any pecuniary or personalinterest in any business on the agenda.  They should also make declarations at any stage such an interest becomes apparent during the meeting. Consideration should be given to leaving the meeting if the nature of the interest warrants it.  If in doubt, contact Democratic Services before the meeting.

Minutes:

2.1        No declarations of interest were made.

 

3.

Minutes of the last meeting of the Committee pdf icon PDF 65 KB

The Committee is asked to confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 5 March 2019 (cream paper).

Minutes:

3.1     The Committee noted an error in minute 20; the title of the first of the Southwater public paths should read ‘1642’, not ‘2642’.

 

3.2     Resolved – that the amended minutes of the meeting held on
5 March 2019 be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

 

4.

Urgent Matters

Items not on the agenda that the Chairman of the Committee is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency by reason of special circumstances.

Minutes:

4.1     There were no urgent matters.

 

5.

Previous Decisions Progress Report pdf icon PDF 37 KB

The Committee is asked to consider a progress report by the Director of Law and Assurance (on pink paper).

Minutes:

5.1    The Committee received and noted a report from the Director of Highways, Transport and Planning and the Director of Law and Assurance outlining applications awaiting consideration (copy attached to the signed minutes).

 

6.

Outstanding Applications and Delegated Decisions pdf icon PDF 48 KB

The Committee is asked to consider a progress report by the Director of Law and Assurance (on pink paper).

         

N.B.  If members have any queries in connection with items 4(a) and 4(b) they are asked to raise them with officers before the meeting.

 

Minutes:

6.1     The Committee received and noted a report by the Director of Law and Assurance setting out the progress on previous delegated decisions and decisions made by the Committee (copy attached to the signed minutes).

 

7.

Public Path Order Proposal pdf icon PDF 101 KB

Report by the Director of Highways, Transport and Planning.

 

The Committee is asked to consider and determine the following application:

 

Ansty and Staplefield: Request for Diversion of Part of Bridleway (Bw) 40CR at Mizbrooks Farmhouse.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Ansty and Staplefield – Request for Diversion of Part of Bridleway (Bw) 40CR at Mizbrooks Farmhouse

 

7.1     The Committee considered a report by the Director of Highways, Transport and Planning concerning an application to divert part of Public Bridleway 40CR at Mizbrooks Farm near Cuckfield.  Judith Grimwood, Senior Rights of Way Officer introduced the report.  It is considered that the legal tests for making and confirming the order have been met.

 

7.2     The Chairman read out the following statement from Mr Pete Bradbury, local member for Cuckfield and Lucastes who was unable to attend:

 

“Unfortunately I am unable to attend Rights of Way Committee on 25 [June 2019].  However, this application is in my division, I have no objections to it and to date have received no submissions about it either for or against.”

 

7.3     During the debate the Committee made the points below.  Clarification was provided by Officers, where applicable:

 

·         The application site is very rural and in a particularly attractive part of West Sussex.

·         The comments of the British Horse Society’s County Access & Bridleway’s Officer for West Sussex that the proposed diversion would be “enjoyable to use”, as recorded in 7.1 of the Committee report, were highlighted; whilst this is subjective the preference “not to be in close proximity to the house and garden” supports the case for better privacy and security of the landowner’s property.

·         Empathy was expressed for situations, such as in the case of this application, where landowners have public rights of way through their gardens.

·         The objection made by the Open Spaces Society is considered to be unreasonable in the case of this application, where the proposed diversion route is a perfectly acceptable alternative route.

 

7.4.    The recommendation was proposed by Mr Acraman and seconded by Mr Quinn, and was put to the Committee and approved unanimously.

 

7.5     Resolved – That the Director of Law and Assurance be authorised to make a diversion Order under Section 119 of the Highways Act 1980 in respect of bridleway 40CR and to take reasonable steps to implement the proposal.

 

8.

Definitive Map Modification Order pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Report by the Director of Law and Assurance.

 

The Committee is asked to consider and determine the following application:

 

Yapton: Application for a Definitive Map Modification Order (Application No: 3/18) to add to the Definitive Map and Statement for Chichester a footpathfrom West of Drove Lane off FP200-1 at Point A (SU972034), to point B (SU971034) and terminating at point C (SU907031), in the Parish of Yapton.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(Application No: 3/18) to add to the Definitive Map and Statement for Chichester a footpathfrom West of Drove Lane off FP200-1 at Point A (SU972034), to point B (SU971034) and terminating at point C (SU907031), in the Parish of Yapton.

 

8.1     The Committee considered a report by the Director of Law and Assurance concerning an application to add to the Definitive Map and Statement a footpath from West of Drove Lane off FP200-1 at Point A, to point B and terminating at point C, in the Parish of Yapton.  Charlotte Nash, Legal Assistant, introduced the report.  It is considered that the lower legal test for making the order have been met, that is that it can be reasonably alleged that a footpath subsists.  For the avoidance of doubt the Council is required to consider whether the applicant has shown on the balance of probability that a right of way subsists, or that it is reasonably alleged to subsist.

 

8.2     Mr Jonathan Cheal, solicitor, Moggers, Drewett, Wells, Somerset, representing Mr Langmead, the landowner spoke in objection to the application. Evidence in favour is unusually thin, evidence against is strong.  The law requires that documentary evidence should show, on balance, that it is sufficiently strong to infer dedication.  The land is and has always been privately owned farm land and there is no evidence of express dedication or acceptance/use by the public.  Route A-B forms part of an existing footpath, which historically will have formed a farm access to Denges Barn.  B-C is a non-existent route; maps are misleading – there is a drain [ditch/watercourse] immediately west of the route which looks like a path but is not, and also the alleged route is along the eastern boundary of a section of the parish.  The OS First Edition 1876, the 1896 OS Map and boundary remarks sketchbook plans are insufficient to prove a public right of way (PROW); these may show footpaths markings but they are not necessarily evidence of a PROW.  Section 5 of the report does not summarise evidential material against, but only contains the information provided by the tenant farmer: a balancing exercise would include primary sources where the route is not shown, which are: Yeakell & Gardner 1778, 1839 Yapton Tithe Map, 1867 Inclosure, 1910 Finance Act, 1949 Act (parish survey and definitive map), adding weight to the body of evidence against this being PROW.

 

8.3     Mrs Hilary Pierce, representing Mr Chris Smith, the applicant, and also a member of Mid Sussex Bridleways Group spoke in support of the application.  Mrs Pierce stated that the Committee report is fair and balanced in its conclusions to the recommendation that the order be made.  A similar route can be seen on Yeakell & Gardner’s 1778 map and is likely to be an ancient customary way.  The altered course of the route seen later was the result of the construction of the Portsmouth and Arundel canal around 1820.  It is unlikely that Ordnance Survey would have regarded  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting of the Committee will be held at 2.15 p.m. on Tuesday, 22 October 2019 at County Hall, Chichester.

 

Minutes:

9.1.    The Committee noted that its next scheduled meeting would be held at 2.15 p.m. on Tuesday, 22 October 2019.