Agenda item

Highways Act 1980 - Section 119
Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 - Section 53A
Proposed Diversion of Part of Footpath 3-2-29 at Clifton Lodge, Longridge

Minutes:

A report was presented on the proposed diversion of part of Footpath 3-2-29 at Clifton Lodge, Longridge.

 

The recorded alignment of the footpath is through the private grounds of a neighbouring caravan park and then through the private grounds and garden areas of Clifton Lodge.

 

The proposed diversion would move the footpath out of the caravan park and onto pasture, running in a broadly south westerly direction to meet Footpath 3-12-33 at the eastern proximity of the applicant's property. The diversion would continue across further pasture to the south-east of the neighbouring private, residential property to join Bridleway 3-2-35.

 

The diversion would increase the privacy and security of the applicant's residential property whilst providing a route that is safe and convenient for public use.

 

The length of existing path to be diverted was shown by a bold continuous line and marked A-B-C-F and C-D on the Committee plan, and the proposed new route was shown by a bold broken line and marked A-E-F and F-G-H.

 

Consultation with the statutory undertakers had been carried out and there was no adverse response. An adverse response had been received from residents of the neighbouring property stating the proposal would have a detrimental effect on their privacy, and a potential visual impact on their views of the surrounding countryside, if a hedge were to be planted to provide screening. After careful consideration, officers had observed that the dwelling was further from the route of the proposed diversion and at a higher altitude, therefore the dwelling would overlook the proposed route and not vice versa. It was considered that the potential impact on the view from the property of a hedge or passing walkers well below the level of the house, and on land where people could be by permission anyway, did not outweigh the benefits to the applicant. Furthermore the route provided better views for the public.

 

It was reported that, should the diversion be approved and an Order made and confirmed, the Order would only be certified when the necessary work had been carried out to the alternative route.

 

County Councillor Clifford expressed concern that the route between points A-B was impassable, but otherwise the current route was very accessible to those with disabilities; the proposed route was not as it was being diverted through green fields. County Clifford stated that the whole of the route should not be diverted and that E-C-D-H could continue to be used.

 

County Councillor Hind made the observation that the diverted route would be better for residents in the caravans which currently had the footpath past their windows. In addition, the view over the reservoir from the proposed route was superior to the route through the caravans or behind Hollin Hall Lodge.

 

County Councillor Salter pointed out that the currently used route connecting point C to the field (via the ladder stile) was not accessible for people with mobility issues. He added that the route via D was attractive, but it was understandable why the applicant wanted to divert it, although there were considerations either way.

 

Committee were advised that the two main tests for diversions were that they could be in the interest of the landowner or in the interest of the public. If they were in the interest of the landowner, they also had to be not substantially less convenient to the public. The officers advice was that this application met the test and solved the problem of the cliff at point B.

 

Resolved:

 

(i)  That an Order be made under Section 119 of the Highways Act 1980 to divert part of Footpath 3-2-29, from the route shown by a bold continuous line and marked A-B-C-F and C-D to the route shown by a bold broken line and marked A-E-F and F-G-H on the attached map.

 

(ii)  That in the event of no objections being received, the Order be confirmed and in the event of objections being received and not withdrawn, the Order be sent to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Authority take a neutral stance with respect to its confirmation.

 

(iii)  That provision be included in the Order such that it is also made under Section 53A of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, to amend the Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way in consequence of the coming into operation of the diversion.

 

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