Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
Definitive Map Modification Order Investigation
Addition of Footpath from Kirkdale Avenue to Footpath Rawtenstall 180 and Seat Naze
File No. 804-608
Decision Maker: Regulatory Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Addition of a footpath to the definitive map
and statement from Kirkdale Avenue to footpath 14-4-FP
A report was presented on an application for the addition to the Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way, of a Footpath from Kirkdale Avenue, Newchurch to Footpath Rawtenstall 180, as shown on the Committee plan between points A-B-C-D-E, attached to the agenda papers.
A site inspection had been carried out in June 2019.
It was reported that the map and photographic evidence available from the 1840s through to the current time supported the view that the route physically existed and was capable of being used by the public on foot. In addition, it was identified as a 'public footpath' on a plan prepared in the 1930s for the construction of houses which abutted the route and from which a proposed link into the route was shown.
The Committee noted the evidence indicated that access to the route had been denied in May 2019, by the construction of a wall which, in turn, had triggered the application. It was not know who had built the wall and, looking at the substantial user evidence, it would appear that there had never been any clear actions by owners to prevent use by the public, and use by the public had continued for many years. In addition, the majority of users refer to having witnessed other users whilst using the route themselves and none of the users recalled having ever been told that the route was not a public right of way, nor did any users refer to having been turned back or having to ask permission to use the route.
The Committee were informed that, taking all of the evidence into account, they may consider that the provisions of Section 31 of the Highways Act 1980 could be satisfied. In addition, or alternatively, Committee may consider that it can be reasonably alleged that there was sufficient evidence from which to infer dedication of a public footpath at common law.
(i) That the application for a Footpath from Kirkdale Avenue to Footpath Rawtenstall 180, in accordance with File No. 804-608, be accepted.
(ii) That an Order(s) be made pursuant to Section 53(2)(b) and Section 53(3)(b) and/or Section 53(3)(c)(i) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to add a footpath to Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way, as shown on the Committee plan between points A-B-C-D-E.
(iii) That being satisfied that the higher 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