Agenda and draft minutes

Rights of Way Committee - Tuesday, 3rd November, 2020 2.15 pm

Venue: Virtual meeting with restricted public access

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

Media

Items
No. Item

20.

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

20.1   In accordance with the County Council’s code of the conduct, there were no declarations of interest made by Committee members.

 

 

21.

Minutes of the last meeting of the Committee pdf icon PDF 193 KB

The Committee is asked to confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 22 October 2019 (cream paper) and in doing so, in accordance with the Council’s leaflet ‘Rights of Way Committee - Public Participation’, the Committee is also asked to consider a written request to amend the minutes of the meeting of the Committee of 22 October 2019.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

21.1   The Committee was asked to confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 22 October 2019 and in doing so, in accordance with the Council’s leaflet ‘Rights of Way Committee – Public Participation’ the Committee was also asked to consider a written request to amend the minutes of the meeting of the Committee of 22 October 2019.

 

21.2   In relation to minute 15.2 of the 22 October 2019 meeting, the Committee agreed that the minute should be corrected in accordance with the proposed amendments, as follows:

 

·        Mr Manning referred to a letter sent to the council – date of the letter adjusted from 13 March to 15 March;

·        inserted the word ‘cyclists’ to read, ‘The Current Route (D to Y to Z) is regularly used by families, cyclists and many children’; and

·        to replace the word ‘hole’ with ‘tee’ to read, ‘In relation to Section E and F, part of the route runs directly in front of the 16th tee’.

 

21.3   Resolved – that the amended minutes of the meeting held on
22 October 2019 be approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

 

22.

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

22.1   There were no urgent matters.

23.

Outstanding Applications and Delegated Decisions pdf icon PDF 139 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.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

23.1   In receiving the report on Outstanding Applications and Delegated Decisions concern was expressed that outstanding applications could be forgotten under the new governance arrangements of the Rights of Way and Planning Committee.  The Chairman advised that most of these decisions had been delegated to officers where orders had been dealt with quickly and confirmed.  Becky Moutrey, Senior Solicitor advised that any delays were mostly those where orders were with the Planning Inspectorate.

 

23.2   The Committee noted the report by the Director of Highways, Transport and Planning and the Director of Law and Assurance outlining applications awaiting consideration and delegated decisions (copy attached to the signed minutes).

 

24.

Previous Decisions Progress Report pdf icon PDF 118 KB

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

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

24.1   The Committee received and noted a report by the Director of Highways, Transport and Planning and 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).

 

25.

Definitive Map Modification Order pdf icon PDF 248 KB

Report by the Director of Law and Assurance.

 

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

 

Definitive Map Modification Order No 1.19 – The addition of a Footpath from footpath 2704-1 and bridleway 2714 crossing Mouse Lane past Charlton Court Farm to footpath 2713 in the Parish of Steyning CP to the definitive map for Chanctonbury.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Definitive Map Modification Order No 1.19 – The addition of a Footpath from footpath 2704-1 and bridleway 2714 crossing Mouse Lane past Charlton Court Farm to footpath 2713 in the Parish of Steyning CP to the definitive map for Chanctonbury

 

25.1   The Committee considered a report by the Director of Law and Assurance concerning a Definitive Map Modification Order (DMMO)
No 1.19 – The addition of a Footpath from footpath 2704-1 and bridleway 2714 crossing Mouse Lane past Charlton Court Farm to footpath 2713 in the Parish of Steyning CP to the definitive map for Chanctonbury.

 

25.2   This application had been received on 27 February 2019 and was made by Steyning Parish Council to add a new footpath in the parish of Steyning CP.  The Chairman informed the Committee that he had made a site visit in respect of this order and introduced Charlotte Nash, Legal Assistant to present the report. 

 

25.3   In presenting the report, Charlotte Nash, Legal Assistant, updated that the public way user evidence was from ten users, rather than eleven, attesting to frequent use of the claimed route “as of right” during the relevant period because one of the eleven users was found to also be an occupier.  Members were informed that the establishment of a permissive path in 2009 was the act which brought use by the public into question and therefore the relevant 20 year period, taken back retrospectively from this date, was 1989 to 2009.   It was further explained that letters found in the County Council’s path/parish files and from the landowner indicate use of the claimed route may have been withdrawn from the public in the 1990’s but it was not clear as to whether the interruption was to use on foot or on horseback. In addition, while the letters indicate the route was used by the public, it was unclear if use was “as of right” and tolerated by the landowner or with permission.  The user evidence from ten users attested to frequent use of the claimed route “as of right” during the relevant period. It was stated that while there was some evidence of an intention not to dedicate on the part of the landowner, it was not considered that this would defeat the claim, given there was no firm evidence that the landowner communicated an intention not to dedicate the claimed route or that use was interrupted by the landowner.

 

25.4   The Committee was further informed that where an applicant for a DMMO produces credible evidence of actual enjoyment of a way as a public right of way over a full period of 20 years, but there is a conflict of apparently credible evidence from the landowner in relation to one or other issues arising under Section 31 of the 1980 Act, then the allegation that the right of way has been reasonably alleged to subsist is used. It was concluded that the reasonable user would have believed they were using the claimed route “as of right” during  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.

26.

Public Rights Of Way Annual Progress Report 2019 pdf icon PDF 123 KB

Report by the Director of Highways, Transport and Planning and Executive Director for Place Services.

 

The Committee is asked to note the Public Rights Of Way Annual Progress Report 2019.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

26.1   The Committee received the Public Rights of Way Annual Progress Report 2019 from Nick Scott, Principal Rights of Way Officer, that contained an annual progress report for the Public Rights of Way (PROW) team setting out the achievements on the network and customer service data during the 2019 calendar year.  In receiving the report, the committee made a number of observations as follows, with clarification being provided by the Principal Rights of Way Officer, as required:

 

·        A typographical error was amended at paragraph 4.1 of the report to replace the word ‘surface’ with ‘service’.

·        Concern was expressed with respect to Network Rail on the routine maintenance required for the replacement of pedestrian crossing points across railway lines.  It was agreed that the Chairman and the Principal Rights of Way Officer would discuss this matter further outside of the meeting so that relevant information could be accessed and progress sought.

·        Information was requested on how the PROW team had coped through the pandemic, with the following information provided by the Officer:

-       work had been challenging and there was a period of three months where inspections had not taken place on rights of way networks.  However, inspections had resumed with support from volunteers.  The inspections remained slightly behind schedule;

-       works identified in the Capital Programme were still underway including work on surface improvement and bridge replacements;

-       No volunteer ranger tasks had taken place during the pandemic due to the government guidance about meeting in larger groups.

·        The Committee were pleased with the increased use of the public rights of way network due to the pandemic, noting that there was an element of education required for new users.

·        The Committee asked if improvements on the public rights of way network had been made through new developments/Section 106 monies.  The Officer pointed out the Section 257 diversions listed in the Outstanding Applications and Delegated Decisions papers (copy attached to the signed minutes) as these were related to development and led by the District and Borough Councils. Section 106 monies are being used at the new development in Aldingbourne and further works on the footpath from Hunston Bridge to A27.

·        Trees were noted as the responsibility of the landowner, if a tree fell on unregistered land then the County Council would undertake clearance.

·        It was agreed that the Principal Rights of Way Officer would provide details for 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years on any completed/in progress schemes linked with S106, Operation Watershed and how the PROW Team feed into the CIL process to Committee Members following the meeting.

 

26.2   Resolved – that the Public Rights of Way Annual Progress report 2019 be noted.

 

27.

Secretary of State Decision pdf icon PDF 163 KB

Report by the Director of Law and Assurance.

 

The Committee is invited to note the following decision by the Secretary of

State:

 

Recent Decision by the Secretary of State's Inspector- West Sussex County Council (Chichester- No.2 (Climping Parish and Town of Littlehampton: Upgrade of public footpath 174 to a restricted byway)) Definitive Map Modification Order 2020.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Recent Decision by the Secretary of State's Inspector- West Sussex County Council (Chichester- No.2 (Climping Parish and Town of Littlehampton: Upgrade of public footpath 174 to a restricted byway)) Definitive Map Modification Order 2020

 

27.1   The Committee received and noted a report by the Director of Law and Assurance setting out the outcomes of the recent decision made by the Secretary of State (copy attached to the signed minutes).

 

27.2   Resolved – That the report be noted.

 

28.

Date of Next Meeting

This is the final meeting of Rights of Way Committee.  Rights of Way matters will in future be consider at Planning and Rights of Way Committee.

 

The first meeting of Planning and Rights of Way Committee will be held at 10.30 a.m. on Tuesday, 10 November 2020.  In accordance with regulations in response to the current public health emergency, this meeting will be held virtually with members in remote attendance.  Public access is via webcasting.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

28.1   As rights of way matters would, in future, be considered at a meeting of Planning and Rights of Way Committee this was the last meeting of the Rights of Way Committee.  The Chairman was thanked for his diligent service to the Rights of Way Committee.

 

28.2   The meeting of the Planning and Rights of Way Committee was confirmed as taking place on Tuesday, 1 December 2020 starting at 10.30 a.m.