Agenda and minutes

Public Rights of Way Committee
Monday, 8th June, 2020 2.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Rachel Graves  Tel: 01270 686473 Email:  rachel.graves@cheshireeast.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

 

2.

Declarations of Interest

To provide an opportunity for Members and Officers to declare any disclosable pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests in any item on the agenda.

Minutes:

No declarations of interest were made.

 

3.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 85 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 9 March 2020.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

 

That the minutes of the meeting held on 9 March 2020 be confirmed as a correct record.

 

4.

Public Speaking Time/Open Session

In accordance with paragraph 9 of Appendix 7 of the Procedure Rules, members of the public may speak on a particular application after the Chairman has introduced the report, provided that notice has been given in writing to Democratic Services by 12 noon one clear working day before the meeting.  A total of 6 minutes is allocated for each application, with 3 minutes for objectors and 3 minutes for supporters.  If more than one person wishes to speak as an objector or supporter, the time will be allocated accordingly or those wishing to speak may agree that one of their number shall speak for all.

 

Also in accordance with paragraph 2.32 of the Committee Procedural Rules and Appendix 7 of the Procedural Rules a total period of 10 minutes is allocated for members of the public to address the Committee on any matter relevant to the work of the body in question.  Individual members of the public may speak for up to 5 minutes but the Chairman will decide how the period of time allocated for public speaking will be apportioned where there are a number of speakers. 

 

Members of the public wishing to ask a question or make a statement at the meeting should provide at least three clear working days’ notice in writing and should include the question with that notice. This will enable an informed answer to be given. 

 

 

Minutes:

There were no public speakers.

 

5.

Town and Country Planning Act 1990 Section 257 Proposed Diversion of Public Footpath Aston Juxtra Mondrum No. 5 (Part) pdf icon PDF 84 KB

To consider the application to divert part of Public Footpath No.5 in the parish of Aston Juxtra Mondrum.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report which detailed an application received from MJ and MC Thomasson requesting that the Council make an Order under Section 257 of the Town and County Planning Act 1990 to divert a section of Public Footpath No.5 in the Parish of Aston Juxtra Mondrum to enable a new Milking Parlour to be built.

 

In accordance with section 257 of the Town and County Planning Act 1990, the Borough Council, as planning authority, could make an Order diverting a public footpath if it was satisfied it was necessary to do so to enable development to be carried out under a planning permission which had been applied for or granted.

 

Planning permission had been granted, subject to conditions, on 13 December 2018 for a Milking Parlour at Aston Lower Hall, Dairy Lane, Aston Juxtra Mondrum - planning reference 18/4485N.

 

The existing alignment of Public Footpath No.5 Aston Juxtra Mondrum would be affected directly by the development of the Milking Parlour.  The footpath would be diverted to start on Dairy Lane approximately 97 metres south of the current path, connecting with Aston Juxtra Mondrum Footpath No.1. There was a layby at this location on Dairy Lane, which provided a safer exit point for walkers than the current than the current definitive line, which exited directly onto the road.

 

The Committee considered the application and concluded that it was necessary to divert part of Public Footpath No. No.5 in the Parish of Aston Juxtra Mondrum to allow for the Milking Parlour as detailed in the approved planning application. It was considered that the legal tests for the making and confirming of a Diversion Order under section 257 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 were satisfied.

 

The Committee unanimously

 

RESOLVED:  That

 

1.         a Public Footpath Diversion Order be made under Section 257 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to divert part of Public Footpath No.5 in the Parish of Aston Juxtra Mondrum on the grounds that Cheshire East Council is satisfied that it is necessary to do so in order to enable development to be carried out.

 

2.         Public Notice of the making of the Order be given and in the event of there being no objection within the period specified, the Order be confirmed in the exercise of the powers conferred on the Council by the said Act.

 

3.            In the event of objections being received, Cheshire East Borough Council be responsible for the conduct of any hearing or public inquiry.

6.

Informative Report on Cases of Uncontested Public Path Orders Determined under Delegated Decision pdf icon PDF 66 KB

To note the Public Path Orders determined under Delegated Powers.

Minutes:

The Committee received an information report on the uncontested Public Path Order cases that had been determined under delegated decision.

 

Two decisions had been taken under delegation, which related to Town and Country Planning Act 1990 Section 257 applications. One was for the diversion of Public Footpath No.36 in the Town of Macclesfield and the other for the diversion of part of Public Footpath No.1 in the Parish of Leighton.

 

AGREED:

 

That the uncontested Public Path Orders determined under delegated decision be noted.

7.

Informative Report: Public Rights of Way Annual Report 2019-20 and Work Programme 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 176 KB

To receive a report on the achievements of the Council in terms of its Public Rights of Way functions during the year 2019-20 and the proposed work programme for the year 2020-21.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered a report which detailed the achievements of the Public Rights of Way team during 2019-20 and set out the proposed work programme for 2020-21.

 

The Acting Public Rights of Way Manager reported on the work carried out during 2019-20 by the Network Management and Enforcement Officers, Technical Administration Officer and Legal Orders Officers.  Specific performance was detailed in the Appendices to the Report.

 

The budget for Public Rights of Way during the 2019-20 financial year had remained as forecast throughout the year which had allowed the Team to plan spending efficiently throughout the year.  However, budgets over recent years had remained static in contrast to increased costs  from suppliers for items such as timber and metal path furniture. 

 

It was also noted that extreme weather events of 2019-20 resulted in damage to path surfaces and bridges, with repair/replacement works not able to be funded from available budgets.

 

Looking to 2020-21, the revenue budgets had remained largely the same as the previous year, whilst the core capital budget had been reduced by 20%, resulting in a lower level of investment in the network.

 

It was concluded that, as in previous years, the Public Rights of Way Team had delivered a very high standard of service to the public.  The good condition of the network was highly regarded by user groups, the processing of legal orders continued to serve both users and landowners, and the high standard of response and service from the Team as a whole was widely recognised.

 

The Acting Public Rights of Way Manager also reported on the challenges faced by the Public Rights of Way team because of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Office based tasks had been relocated to home-based remote working.  The Network Management and Enforcement Team continued to function, albeit on a re-prioritised basis, to ensure that availability and safety of the network.  The Team was dealing with a large number of enquiries from both landowners and users, often involving heightened tensions and users unfamiliar with rural walking routes.  Advice for both landowner and users had been made available on the Council’s website and was kept up to date in line with national government guidance.  The Covid-19 situation had reinforced the vital importance of the network for our communities’ physical and mental wellbeing, and in doing so, the validity of protecting the necessary resources to maintain that asset.

 

AGREED:

 

That the report be noted.