Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
Definitive Map Modification Order Investigation
Upgrading Footpath to Restricted Byway at Waingate, Rawtenstall
File No. 804-599
Decision Maker: Regulatory Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
A report was presented on an application for the route known as Waingate Road – Waingate Lane, Rawtenstall, as shown between points A-B-C-D-E-F-G on the Committee plan attached to the agenda papers, to be upgraded on the Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way from Footpath to Restricted Byway.
A site inspection had been carried out in July 2018.
It was reported that the route under consideration was currently recorded as a public footpath. It was advised that, as there was no express dedication in this matter, the Committee should consider, on balance, whether there was sufficient evidence from which to have its dedication inferred at common law from all the circumstances, or for the criteria in Section 31 Highways Act 1980, for a deemed dedication to be satisfied, based on sufficient twenty years 'as of right' use to have taken place, ending with this use being called into question.
The Committee noted that the whole of the route was shown on numerous historical maps from 1849 onwards, as a through route connecting Newchurch Road and Hurst Lane at Cotes Road, and was also shown named as Waingate Road and Waingate Lane. In addition, the Finance Act 1910 showed that the route under investigation was excluded from the taxable hereditaments which was considered to be good evidence that public carriageway rights existed, and that there appeared to be no evidence that such rights had ever been extinguished. Therefore, on balance, it was suggested that the map and documentary evidence provided was sufficient from which to infer dedication under common law.
It was reported that there were very few users providing evidence of their use and that such use must be more than trivial and sporadic to be sufficient use to give rise to a deemed dedication.
Taking all of the information into account, it was suggested that the Committee may, on balance, consider the evidence insufficient, from which to find that the criteria of Section 31 could be satisfied. However, coupled with the extensive map and documentary evidence, Committee may be of the view, on balance, that there was sufficient evidence from which a dedication of a vehicular highway could be deemed or inferred in law, and therefore that the application be accepted.
(i) That the application for Waingate Road – Waingate Lane, Rawtenstall to be
recorded as a Restricted Byway on the Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way, in accordance with File No. 804-599, be accepted.
(ii) That an Order be made pursuant to Section 53 (2)(b) and Section 53 (3)(b)
and/or Section 53 (3)(c)(ii) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to upgrade Footpath Rawtenstall 348 to Restricted Byway on the Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way as shown on Committee Plan between points A-B-C-D-E-F-G.
(iii) That being satisfied that the test for confirmation can be met the Order be
promoted to confirmation.
Date of decision: 14/11/2018
Decided at meeting: 14/11/2018 - Regulatory Committee