Venue: Shoreham Village Hall, 8 High Street, Shoreham TN14 7TB
Contact: Andrew Tait 03000 416749
Election of Chairman
(1) Mr P J Homewood moved, seconded by Mr J N Ozog that Mr R A Pascoe be elected Chairman for the meeting.
(2) Mr R A Pascoe thereupon took the Chair.
(1) The Members of the Panel visited the site of the proposed diversion prior to the meeting. This visit was also attended by the applicant, Mr Jeremy Aslan and by some 12 other members of the public.
(2) The PROW Definition Officer introduced the report be saying that the County Council had received an application from Mr Jeremy Aslam in July 2015 to divert part of Public Footpath SR22 at Shoreham. Mr Aslam was the owner of The Garden House whose land the relevant section of the path ran through. The reason for the application was to provide greater security for his property.
(3) The PROW Definitions Officer moved on to describe the present route and proposed new route of Public Footpath SR22, its width of 2.0 metres (except for the area between points C and D which would be 1.2 metres. He added that the applicant would be required to improve surfacing on the diverted route to remove all unevenness caused by the current large pieces of masonry and tree roots and to provide a suitable depth compacted MOT Type 1.
(4) The PROW Definitions Officer then set out the County Council’s agreed criteria that needed to be satisfied. These were:-
(a) The status of the route must not be in dispute at the time of the application, unless the Public Path Order is being implemented concurrently with an application under Section 53 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981;
(b) The applicant must agree to meet the County Council’s costs of promoting the Order and bringing the new path into a fit condition for public use;
(c) The applicant must also agree to defray any compensation which mat become payable as a result of the proposal; and
(d) The definitive line should, where it is considered by the Council to be reasonably practicable be open, clear and safe to use.
Nothing in this policy is intended to prevent the County Council promoting a Public Path Change Order in any case where it considers it appropriate in all the circumstances to do so.
(5) The PROW Definitions Officer then set out the six criteria in the Highways Act 1980 that needed to be satisfied for the proposed diversion to be agreed. These were:-
(a) Whether it is expedient in the interests of the landowner that the right of way in question should be diverted;
(b) Whether the point of termination of the path will be substantially as convenient to the public given that it is proposed to be diverted to another point on the same or a connecting highway;
(c) Whether the right of way will not be substantially less convenient to the public;
(d) The effect that the diversion would have on public enjoyment of the path as a whole;
(e) The effect on other land served by the existing right of way; and
(f) The effect that any new public right of way created by the Order would have on land over which the right is created ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
(1) The Principal Legal Orders Officer briefly explained that an application for The Downs at Herne Bay to be registered as a new Town or Village Green had been made in 2009. It had been considered by a Regulation Committee Member Panel in 2011. It had been resolved to refer the matter to a Public Inquiry in order to clarify the issues.
(2) The Public Inquiry had taken place over 8 days in 2011-12. The Inspector had issued her report in 2013. Post Inquiry submissions had been submitted by both the applicant and Canterbury CC. These submissions were still in the process of being resolved.
(3) The Principal Legal Definitions Officer then explained that there was one issue which required a fundamental amendment before the Public Inquiry could be recommenced. This related to the qualifying Locality or Neighbourhood within a Locality. The applicant had originally identified this as the former Urban District Council area of Herne Bay. This identification had recently been challenged by Canterbury CC on the grounds that there had been no such area during the 20-year qualifying period.
(4) The Principal Legal Definitions Officer then said that the current Inspector had advised that the best course of action was for the County Council to agree that the applicant could amend his application so that it relied on an alternative claimed locality or neighbourhood within a locality. All parties agreed with this advice, and he was therefore recommending to the Panel that the applicant should be allowed to argue that the relevant locality was one of the following:-
- The locality of the urban area of Herne Bay;
- The locality of the electoral ward of belting;
- Herne Bay as a neighbourhood within the locality of Canterbury District; or
- The locality of Reculver.
(5) The Panel unanimously agreed to the Principal Legal Orders Officer’s request.
(6) RESOLVED that the applicant be given permission to amend the application to rely on the alternative localities set out in paragraph (5) above, with the Inspector’s recommendation to the Regulation Authority thereon being included in her report.