Agenda item

Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
Definitive Map Modification Order Investigation
Addition of Footpath from Chatburn Old Road, Chatburn, Ribble Valley Borough

Minutes:

A report was presented on an application and investigation for the addition of a footpath from Chatburn Old Road Chatburn, to 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.

A site inspection had been carried out in April 2022.

 

A variety of maps, plans and other documents had been examined to discover when the route came into being, and to try to determine what its status may be. The land crossed by the application route was affected by the extension of the limestone quarries to the west in the 1960s, with no evidence that the application route existed prior to that time. For that reason, much of the early map and documentary evidence was not included in the Committee report.

 

It was reported that it had initially been considered that Chatburn Old Road extended west as far as point A but, on investigation, it had become apparent that public rights had been extinguished along the road from point X to point A in 1971. The map and site evidence showed that this part of the road still physically existed after that time, and that it appeared capable of being used. The section A-X was not part of the application route, but had been added to the Recommendation, following an investigation and confirmation of its use by the users. The route had been fenced off at point A which had prompted the application.

 

Committee were advised that the user evidence from the 1960s needed to be considered as there was no map, photographic or documentary evidence found to support the physical existence of the route.

 

Committee noted that the landowner had raised some legal points in relation to the application and that these had been addressed within the Committee report.

 

There had been no prevention of use of the route until recently.

 

Taking all of the evidence into account, Committee were advised, on balance, they may consider that there may be sufficient evidence of a footpath being able to be reasonably alleged to subsist and therefore make an Order and, should no objections be received, it would be appropriate to consider the higher test was able to be satisfied and the Order able to be confirmed. However, if there were any objections, it would be appropriate to clarify the user evidence by taking more detailed statements, and it was suggested that Committee may consider the matter should be returned to them for a decision regarding confirmation, once the statutory period for objections and representations to the Order had passed and further statements from users were taken.

 

Resolved:

 

(i)  That the application for the addition to the Definitive Map and Statement of Public rights of Way of a footpath from Chatburn Old Road, be accepted. That the evidence of a footpath reasonably alleged following investigation into the other part of route A-X 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 on the Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way a footpath from Chatburn Old Road as shown on Committee Plan between points X-A-B-C.

 

(iii)  That the Order be confirmed if no objections are received but if objections are received the matter be returned to Committee for a decision regarding confirmation, once the statutory period for objections and representations to the Order has passed.

 

Supporting documents: