Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
Definitive Map Modification Order Investigation
Upgrading to Bridleway of Footpath Longton 42 (Known as Six Acre Lane), South Ribble
File No. 804-607
Decision Maker: Regulatory Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Upgrading the existing footpath to a
A report was presented on an application received for Footpath Longton 42 (known as Six Acre Lane), to be upgraded on the Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way from footpath to bridleway, from Drumacre Lane East to Gill Lane, Longton, as shown between point A and point C on the Committee plan attached to the agenda papers.
A site inspection had been carried out in June 2019.
The Committee noted that there was no user evidence to consider for this application so it was necessary to look solely at the available map and documentary evidence.
The Committee were advised that the historical mapping evidence that the route was once used for public vehicular use was strong. Its initial status as a vehicular highway has not been affected by the more recent use as a footpath only as, once a highway has come into being, it continues indefinitely whether it is used or not. It was reported that there was no evidence to indicate that this historic vehicular highway status has been challenged, although the landowners state that it is a private road which they maintain but this is recent use by those landowners and does not call into question the historical evidence.
It was reported that the suitability, or otherwise, of the route for horses was not something that could be taken into account in determining whether highway rights exist.
The Committee were advised that if they concluded the evidence showed that, on the balance of probability, public carriageway rights existed on the application route, then it would be necessary to consider whether the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 would have extinguished public rights for mechanically propelled vehicles. Therefore, in the event that public carriageway rights were shown to exist, the appropriate status for Six Acre Lane to be recorded on the Definitive Map and Statement would be Restricted Byway, with public rights for non-mechanically propelled vehicles, horses or on foot.
(i) That the application for the upgrading of Footpath Longton 42 to Bridleway, in accordance with File No. 804-607, be accepted, subject to a status of restricted byway, which includes bridleway rights.
(ii) That an Order be made pursuant to Section 53 (2)(b) and Section 53 (3)(c)(i) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, to upgrade Footpath Longton 42 to a Restricted Byway on the Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way as shown on the Committee plan attached to the agenda papers between points A-B-C.
(iii) That being satisfied that the test for confirmation can be met, the Order be promoted to confirmation.
Report author: Joanne Lawson
Date of decision: 18/09/2019
Decided at meeting: 18/09/2019 - Regulatory Committee