Agenda item

Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
Definitive Map Modification Order Investigation
Addition of Bridleway from Nixon Lane to Willow Road along Pump House Lane, Ulnes Walton


A report was presented on an application for the addition of a Bridleway from Nixon Lane to Willow Road along Pump House Lane, Ulnes Walton to the Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way for Lancashire, as shown on the Committee plan attached to the agenda papers between points A-G.


A site inspection had been carried out in February 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.


Committee noted that no user evidence had been received for this application and that this was a connecting route to that in Item 7 on the Agenda.


In relation to the route A-F, it was reported that public rights had been extinguished along the route in 1944 under special emergency powers related to the defence of the country, and that a further order made in 1947 permanently extinguished those rights. Between 2004 and 2012, discussions had been held between Ulnes Walton Parish Council, the county council and relevant landowners regarding the creation of concessionary rights to use the route on foot, horseback and bicycle. Recent site evidence showed that the route was open and available to use although no concessionary agreements had ever been finalised.


In relation to the route F-G, this did not exist until the prison sites were constructed, together with the adjacent housing estate, which originally housed prison workers. The first maps located showing the route were dated 1988 and no map or documentary evidence had been found indicating the route had come into being or that it had been dedicated as a public right of way.


Committee were advised that, since the stopping up of 1947, in considering the evidence presented, they may consider there is insufficient evidence for dedication to be inferred. The recommendation to Committee was to reject the application and that no Order be made.


County Councillor Clifford stated that, as a Chorley Borough Councillor, he was aware of a planning application that Chorley Council had refused, to build on land at the side of the prison to extend it. The applicant had appealed against the refusal and a decision was currently awaited. County Councillor Clifford asked whether the route applied for in this application and the one in Item 7 were on the same land as that detailed in the prison extension planning application. Committee were informed that the route in Item 7 was on the same land and that Chorley Borough Council and the applicants were aware of the two Definitive Map Modification Orders being considered today, so they were aware of the routes applied for.


Clarification was sought on how an approval of a right of way may affect the progress of a planning application. It was reported that the planning system allowed for diversion/stopping up of rights of way under the Town and Country Planning Act rather than the Highways Act and that this was a much quicker procedure.  A diversion that was needed for a development with planning permission would be considered by the relevant planning authority who could make an Order for diverting/stopping up a route and the reason would be that this was necessary in order for the development to go ahead. It was noted that any possible diversions/stopping ups should always be considered at the planning stage of any development.


After a discussion, it was:


Resolved: That the application for a bridleway along Pump House Lane to the Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way be not accepted.


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