Agenda and minutes

Cheshire East Countryside Access Forum
Thursday, 6th December, 2018 10.00 am

Venue: Lord Egerton's Apartment, Tatton Park, Knutsford WA16 6QN

Contact: Rachel Graves 

No. Item


Welcome and Apologies


Apologies were received from Rhoda Bailey and Maurice Palin.


The Chairman announced the sad news of the death of Dale Langham. The Committee held a minutes silence in tribute and recognition of his service to the Forum.


It was understood that a request had been made to name a cycleway after Dale and the Forum gave their support to this idea.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 20 September 2018 pdf icon PDF 79 KB




That the minutes of the meeting held on 20 September 2018 be confirmed as a correct record.


HS2 pdf icon PDF 68 KB

a) Phase 2a (northwards to Crewe) HS2 Ltd response to input of the Forum

b) Phase 2b (northwards from Crewe) Working Draft Environmental Statement Consultation


Genni Butler


In the absence of a representative of HS2 Ltd, Genni Butler updated the Forum on proposals for HS2 Phases 2a and 2b in Cheshire East.


With regards to Phase 2a, HS2 Ltd had responded to the Forum’s comments and referenced an assurance given to the North Staffordshire Bridleways Association that the design standards would be a higher standard than those of the British Horse Society and take account of site specific conditions where reasonably practical and appropriate.


With reference to Phase 2b, formal consultation was being undertaken on the draft Environment Statement and draft Equality Impact Assessment Report. The consultation period ended on 21 December 2018.


The Public Rights of Way Team had worked through the proposal for the affected Public Rights of Way on this section of the route and had submitted comments.  The Team had previously submitted aspirations for these routes but these had not transferred to the proposals.


As the Phase 2b route would affect other Local Access Forum regions it was suggested that they be contacted to inform them of the response of the Forum to the consultation.


Forum members were asked to submit any comments to Genni Butler to enable a response to the consultation to be drafted.


Forum Recruitment: Marketing and Publicity pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Genni Butler


Consideration was given to the recruitment process to attract new Forum members.


The current Forum members term of membership was due to end in April 2019.  A form was circulated for present members to indicate if they wished to continue for a further 3 year period.


It was noted that no landowner representatives were on the Forum and it was stated that an NFU representative would be most welcome to attend the meetings.


It was suggested that riding clubs be added to the list of potential candidate organisations to inform about the recruitment exercise. 


It was decided that any changes to the running of the Forum would be considered when new members had joined.


Reports from Members


Northwest Chairs' Meeting

Pat Featherstone


Pat Featherstone reported on the issues discussed at the last meeting of the North West Regional LAF Chairs.  The main topics were:

·       support provided by Natural England to Forums

·       expected date for the public rights of way element of the Deregulation Act to take effect

·       Fire Severity Index

·       closure of footpath level crossing.





Access for All

Ivor Williams


There had been no progress on the event with Access for All UK.


Cheshire East Draft Site Allocations and Development Policies

John Handley


John Handley briefed the Forum on the Council’s Site Allocations and Development Policies and circulated a list of policies highlighting those which were relevant to the work of the Forum.  These being:

·       Policy RUR 6 Outdoor sport, leisure and recreation in the open countryside and Green Belt

·       Policy RUR7 Equestrian Development

·       Policy RUR 8 Visitor accommodation

·       Policy RUR 9 Caravan and Camping Sites

·       Policy RUR 10 Employment development in the open countryside.


It was agreed that Forum members forward any comments on these Policies to Genni Butler, who would co-ordinate responses with the Chairman for John to prepare comment on behalf of the Forum.


Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan

John Handley


John Handley reported on the preparation of the Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan.  A Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group had been established to produce the Plan.  Pre submission consultation had been undertaken on the Plan and it would now be submitted to Cheshire East Council for their consultation process.


A Toolkit was available on Cheshire East Council’s website, which included the information on site allocations; design, landscape and character; the Forum’s own public rights of way guide; health impact assessment; templates to help create the Plan, external guidance and guidance on how to submit the Plan.



Top 3 Priorities in Countryside Access: are the Forum's priorities still valid?

Bob Anderson


The Chairman led a discussion on whether the Forum’s work priorities – rural road safety, access for all and waterways, were still relevant for the future.


Other topics for the Forum to consider had been suggested and these included the speed of vehicle on rural roads, litter/fly tipping, insufficient equestrian access, lost ways and responsible use of countryside access.


It was considered the work on rural road safety, along should continue, along with access for all and that consideration be given to producing a leaflet on the responsible use of countryside access.


Members were asked to report anything of interest which would be of interest to the Forum.


Rights of Way Improvement Plan Update pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Genni Butler


Genni Butler reported on the Rights of Way Improvement Plan.


An update on projected being delivered under the Improvement Plan was provided and included updates on:


·       Sandbach Footpath between Station Road and Clifton Road - the lighting had now been completed but the signage remained to be completed.

·       CAMS Web Portal – a new contract was in place which included the Web Portal as a future option

·       Publicity – press releases had been issued on the Nantwich Riverside Bridges improvement project  and on the Nantwich towpath works

·       Planning – use of S106 contributions for use on footpath improvements.


Proposed Dates of Future Meetings:

  • Thursday 21st March - Crewe
  • Thursday 20th June - Macclesfield
  • Thursday 19th September – Crewe

·       Thursday 28th November - Macclesfield


The date of meetings in 2019 were agreed as follows:


Thursday 21 March 2018 – Municipal Building, Crewe

Thursday 20 June 2019 – Macclesfield Town Hall

Thursday 19 September 2019 – Municipal Building, Crewe

Thursday 28 November 2019 – Macclesfield Town Hall