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Agenda Item No

 

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Report to Planning Sub Committee (Public Rights of Way): 26th February, 2014

 

Report of the Director of Development Services

 

Highways Act 1980 s119 Proposed Public Path Diversion Order Footpath No.5 Bonvilston.

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To consider an application to divert part of the above path. The application is made by Mr and Mrs Summerhayes, Stone Court, Bonvilston, Cardiff, CF5 6TR.

Recommendation

2.         That the Council, being the relevant highway authority for the affected footpath, proceed with making an order to divert part of Footpath No.5 Bonvilston, as described in the attached order plan and schedule.

Reason for the Recommendations

3.         Diversion of the path is expedient in the interests of the landowners. The existing definitive alignment passes in front of Mr and Mrs Summerhayes’ home. The diversion would move the path to the edge of their property, parallel but outside of their garden wall. The proposal also realigns the northern section of the path, moving the path to the edge of the field which would allow the path to be fenced-off from the main body of the field at a later date; this section is owned by a different landowner.

4.         The application cites  the reason for the diversion as:

'The owner would benefit from privacy and security’.

5.         The path diversion retains connections to the same highways. The proposed alternative route is no less convenient to the public.

Background

6.         Public Footpath 5 commences on the north side of the A48 to the west of St Mary’s Church, Bonvilston and proceeds along a private driveway to Stone Court. The path enters the garden of Stone Court and passes close to the house. The path continues north-westwards through a stable yard then across fields before terminating at the junction of several footpaths. The path provides a valuable link into an extensive network of paths which lay to the north of the village.

7.         The path through Stone Court has been obstructed for many years with members of the public following an informal path around the boundary of Stone Court. The informal path has been cleared and maintained periodically by the Vale Council and partner organisations, including Valeways, and appears in Valeways promoted route literature.

8.         The northern section of the path is not owned by the applicant, the applicant has provided a declaration that she has spoken to the owners and that they are in agreement with the proposal. The owners were consulted as part of the pre-order consultation process but have not responded. The applicants have also indemnified the Council against the cost of compensation should such an application be received

9.         The effect of the diversion of Footpath 5 would be to move the footpath from the alignment A-B-C (bold line) to A-D-E-F-G-C (dashed line) as shown on the order map.

10.      The order map and schedule are included describing the changes in greater detail.

Relevant Issues and Options

11.      In deciding whether to make a diversion order it is reasonable to consider both the tests for making the Order and for confirming the Order (R. (Hargrave) v. Stroud District Council [2002]). Even if all the tests are met, the council may exercise its discretion not to make the Order.

12.      Before making a diversion order it must appear to the Council that it is expedient to divert the path in the interests either of the public or of the owner, lessee or occupier of the land crossed by the path.

13.      The Authority must also be satisfied that the diversion order does not alter any point of termination of the path, other than to another point on the same path, or another highway connected with it, and which is substantially as convenient to the public.

14.      Before confirming an order, the Council, or the Secretary of State, if the order is opposed, must be satisfied that:

a)      The diversion is expedient in the interests of the person(s) stated in the order,

b)      The path will not be substantially less convenient to the public as a consequence of the diversion,

c)      It is expedient to confirm the order having regard to the effect it will have on public enjoyment of the path as a whole, on other land served by the existing path and on land affected by any proposed new path, taking into account the provision for compensation.

15.      Convenience should be interpreted as meaning ease of use, whereas enjoyment can take into account other factors such as the views to be enjoyed from the path or way.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

16.      None

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

17.      None

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

18.      The power to make an order is discretionary only. No right of appeal exists against the Authority’s decision not to make an order.

Crime and Disorder Implications

19.      None

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

20.      None

Corporate/Service Objectives

21.      Determination of applications is pursuant to aims within the Council’s Rights of Way Improvement Plan.

Policy Framework and Budget

22.      This report is a matter for decision by the Planning Sub-Committee (Public Rights of Way)

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

23.      Consultations were issued on the 10th January 2014 and consultees invited to respond within 21 days. Results are as below 

Consultee & Organisation

Comments / Reply

Bob Guy Operational Manager – Countryside & Economic Projects, VoG.

No Response

Geraint Davies, Legal Services, VoG

No Response

Erica Dixon, Ecologist, VoG

No objection

Marcus Goldsworthy, Operational Manager – Developmant Control, VoG.

No Response

Councillor J C Bird, VoG Ward Member

No objection

St Nicholas and Bonvilston Community Council

No Response

National Grid Plant Protection

No Objection

National Power Plc

No Response

Openreach BT

 No Objection

Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water

No Response

Virgin Media

No Response

Vodaphone c/o Atkins Telecom

No Objection

Natural Resources Wales

No Response

British Horse Society

No Response

Byways and Bridleways Trust

No Response

CTC

No Response

Auto Cycle Union

No Response

Welsh Trail Riders Assn.

No Response

Open Space Society

No Response

The Ramblers Association

No Response

The Ramblers Association Wales

No Response

Ramblers Association – Vale of Glamorgan Group

 No Response

Ramblers Association – Penarth and District Group

No Response

Landowners – Stone Court

Applicants

Landowners - North Field

No Response

Landowners – Tudor Lodge

Objection

Landowners – Coach House

No Objection

 

24.      An objection was received from Mr Richards, Tudor Lodge, Bonvilston. The objection was on the following basis:

I want to object on the following conditions:

1.    Ownership of the land

2.    The land is unsafe for ramblers to use

3.    The fence is unsafe – people could get hurt

 

25.      Land registry titles are provided for inspection in appendix A and appear to support the applicant’s position that the land comprising the proposed route falls within the Stone Court title along the Tudor Lodge boundary.

26.      The Council are able to agree works to be undertaken as part of the order where they required in order to bring the new way into safe public use. No works have been agreed at this stage in relation to the land and fence as no health risk has been able to be identified when undertaking inspections.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

27.      Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

Order plan and schedule.

Letter of Objection

Stonecourt Title

Contact Officer

Sandra Thomas, Public Rights of Way Assistant, Countryside and Economic Projects - Tel 01446 704705.

Officers Consulted:

Officers consulted in relation to proposals as above

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas – Director of Development Services

 

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