Agenda item

Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
Definitive Map Modification Order Investigation
Recording Bridleway on First Terrace, Sunderland, Overton



The Chair informed Committee that a television programme 'Villages by the Sea' had been shown in August 2022, on which an archaeologist had revealed the story of Sunderland Point. The Chair would send a link out to Committee for their interest.


A report was presented on an application for the addition of bridleway and upgrading of footpath to bridleway along First Terrace, Sunderland, Overton on the Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way, as shown on the Committee plan attached to the agenda between points A-B-C-D.


A site inspection had been carried out in June 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.


It was reported that between point A and point A1, the application route was recorded as a publicly maintainable highway on the 'Handover' Map. In 1929, the responsibility for district highways passed from rural district councils to the county council and 'Handover' maps had been drawn up to identify those highways within the county which were, immediately before the handover, maintainable by rural district councils as highway authorities.


The county council was required to maintain, under section 36 of the Highways Act 1980, an up-to-date List of Streets showing which 'streets' were maintainable at the public expense. The publicly maintainable highway (Main Street) referenced as route 2/133 was shown on the Handover map ending at the mean high water mark. However, the mark was much closer to Gravel Cottage than on modern Ordnance Survey mapping which was used to show the extent of the adopted public highway records, which showed it as far as the modern day mean high water mark – which was approximately 40 metres shorter than the route recorded in 1929. For this reason, Lancashire County Council Highways team had been requested to update their records to include this section of the application route A to A1, as part of the publicly maintainable vehicular highway (Main Street).


As previously reported, records were being updated to show that the route A-A1 was vehicular highway maintainable at public expense and no order was recommended in respect of this part of the application route.


Committee were advised to consider whether, on the balance of probability, the evidence showed that the application route at point A1-B had public bridleway rights and also whether, on the balance of probability, the evidence showed that the existing public footpath at point B-D ought to be shown as a public bridleway and that the Definitive Map and Statement required modification to reflect this.


Committee were also advised that the evidence was sufficient, on balance, to show that the application route from point A1-D had public bridleway rights. It was therefore recommended to make an Order as set out in the report's Recommendation and that it be promoted to confirmation.




(i)  That the application for the addition of a bridleway and upgrade of footpath to bridleway at First Terrace, Sunderland, in the Parish of Overton be accepted in part.


(ii)  That an Order be made pursuant to Section 53 (2)(b) and Section 53 (3)(c)(i) and (ii) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to record a bridleway on the Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way along First Terrace, Overton as shown on Committee Plan between points A1-B-C-D.


(iii)  That being satisfied that the higher test for confirmation can be met the Order be promoted to confirmation.


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