PLANNING SUB-COMMITTEE (PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY)
Minutes of a meeting held on 28th April, 2016.
Present: Councillor F.T. Johnson (Chairman); Councillor Mrs. M.R. Wilkinson (Vice-Chairman); Councillors H.J.W. James and R.A. Penrose.
Also present: Councillor G. John.
Councillor G. John spoke on Agenda Item No. 4 in his capacity as a Vale of Glamorgan Elected Member for the Llantwit Major Ward.
List of Public Speakers:
Name of Speaker
Agenda Item No.
Reason for Speaking
Mr. S. Van Praag
4 – Highways Act 1980 Section 26 Proposed Public Path Creation Order Footpath No. 61 Llantwit Major
Applicant or their alternative
(a) Apology for Absence –
This was received from Councillor Mrs. V.M. Hartrey.
(b) Minutes –
RESOLVED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 17th March, 2016 be approved as a correct record.
(c) Declarations of Interest –
No declarations were received.
(d) Highways Act 1980 Section 26 Proposed Public Path Creation Order Footpath No. 61 Llantwit Major (HRP) –
The Chairman informed those present of the procedure note which would be followed for the meeting and all present introduced themselves.
A short adjournment took place to wait for the registered Public Speaker to arrive.
The Chairman asked Mr. Van Praag if he wished those present to introduce themselves and he confirmed that he was satisfied with the name plates set out for Members and officers.
The Committee received a report which required it to consider whether to create a new Public Footpath, No. 61 Llantwit Major, by means of Creation Order.
Late representations relating to the application had been distributed to Members of the Sub-Committee by electronic means the previous day and copies distributed at the meeting.
In presenting the report to Committee, the Public Rights of Way Officer explained that the effect of the Order would be to add a public footpath to the Definitive Map. The Sub-Committee was apprised as to the route of the proposed Public Footpath No. 61 and an Order Map and schedule were attached to the report at Appendix 1, describing the changes in greater detail.
The section of path in question was not currently recorded as public in any capacity and as such no clear rights existed along it upon which the public could rely.
Licence agreements had previously been in place in relation to a car park at the end of lane and though use continued, in practice the agreements had expired.
Formalisation of the link had significant support from local residents. A petition that ran to 563 names in support of the route, in addition to accompanying letters from a further nine individuals, had previously been submitted. The issue was also brought up regularly at Llantwit Major Town Council Footpath Forum meetings. It was understood that the Town Council had been attempting to secure provision of the route for some time.
Efforts had previously been made to conclude creation of the route by agreement, however difficulties had been encountered in demonstrating ownership of title across much of the lane. This was with the exception of a short piece alongside Boverton Mill at the northern end of the lane and a further short section between B-C.
The Creation Order report had been deferred for a decision by the Planning Sub-Committee (Public Rights of Way) of 17th March, in order to undertake a site visit.
The Committee was advised that when deciding whether to make an Order it was reasonable to consider both the tests for making the Order and for confirming the Order. Even if all the tests were met, the Council may exercise its discretion not to make the Order.
Before making a Creation Order under the Highways Act 1980 Section 26, it must appear to the Council that a path or way was needed and that it was expedient for a way to be created. In doing so Authorities must have regard to the extent to which ways would add to:
The convenience or enjoyment of a substantial section of the public; or
The convenience of persons resident in the area.
In both cases the effect that the creation would have on the rights of persons interested in the land should be considered, subject to account being taken of the Act’s provisions as to compensation (HA 1980, s28). Authorities should also have regard to the needs of:
Agriculture (including breeding or keeping horses).
The desirability of conserving flora, fauna and geological and physiographical features.
Before confirming an Order, the Council, or the Welsh Government if the Order was opposed, must be satisfied that the tests listed above had been met.
In the current case, the path was needed to provide a link between existing highways and was expedient in the absence of other formal rights. The path would add both to the convenience or enjoyment of a substantial section of the public and to the convenience of persons in the area from which there was significant support. In the case of a substantial section of the public, the path would ensure a link was available from Boverton to the Wales Coast Path, an internationally promoted long distance trail, and would therefore form a valuable addition to the tourism offer of the area.
Where ownership rights were demonstrated, the Council had agreed or budgeted for compensation to reflect the detriment, if any, of the addition of rights.
No agriculture, forestry or conservation issues arose.
Having considered the contents of the report, the late representations, the representations given by the Public Speaker and the discussions at the meeting, it was
RESOLVED – T H A T the Council, being the relevant Highway Authority, proceed with making the Order to create proposed Footpath No. 61 Llantwit Major as described in the Order Plan and schedule attached at Appendix 1 to the Sub-Committee Report and, subject to no objections being received, confirm the Order.
Reason for decision
The footpath is required to provide a suitable footpath link between existing highways for the benefit of persons resident in the area, 563 of whom have signed a petition calling for the route to be formalised with further individual letters of support received. The proposed route follows an informal track already used and provides a link between Boverton and Public Footpath 3, Llantwit Major which leads to the Wales Coast Path at Summerhouse Point.