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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 Footpaths Nos.1 and 3 Gileston.

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To consider an application to divert part of the above path. The application is made by The Vale of Glamorgan Council.

Recommendation

2.         That the Council, being the relevant highway authority for the affected footpath, proceed with making an order to divert parts of Footpaths Nos.1 and 3 Gileston, as described in the attached order plan and schedule.

Reason for the Recommendations

3.         Diversion of the paths is expedient in the interests of the landowners. Footpath No.1 passes through the yard of Gileston Farm, the diversion would move the path to the south of the yard, along the field margin of the adjacent fields. Footpath No.3 crosses an agricultural field, the diversion would move the path to the field margin.

4.         The path diversions retain connection to the same highways. The proposed alternative routes are no less convenient to the public.

Background

5.         Footpath No.1 commences in Gileston village on the adopted highway which leads to the coast. The path heads westwards along a farm track through Gileston Farmyard; connecting to the rights of way network the path continues across fields to meet the coast at Summerhouse Bay. The path is promoted as part of the All Wales Coast Path.

6.         Footpath No.3 commences on the adopted highway to the north of Gileston village; heading south-westwards the path crosses an arable field, then entering a second field for a short stretch before joining footpath No.1 on the access track to Gileston Farmyard. The proposed change would follow the route used by walkers for many years, keeping closer to the field margin.

7.         The effect of the diversion of Footpath No.1 would be to move the footpath from the alignment A-B (bold line) to A-C-D-E-B (dashed line) as shown on the order map. The effect of the diversion of Footpath No.1 would be to move the footpath from the alignment F-G (bold line) to H-I-J-K-L-M(dashed line) as shown on the order map

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

Relevant Issues and Options

9.         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.

10.      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.

11.      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.

12.      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.

13.      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.

14.      The current and proposed alignment of both paths crosses land which is not registered with Land Registry, The Land is owned by Mr Thomas, Gileston Farm. Mr Thomas has no objection to the proposal.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

15.      None

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

16.      None

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

17.      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

18.      None

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

19.      None

Corporate/Service Objectives

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

Policy Framework and Budget

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

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

22.      Consultations were issued on the 11th October 2013 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  W Thomas, VoG Ward Member

Supports the application

St Athan 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 Objection

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

Friends of the Earth

No Response

Landowner

No Objection

Adjacent landowners

Objection

 

23.      An objection to the diversion of footpath No.3 was received from Ms Lorraine Garrad-Jones, Gileston Manor, Gileston. Ms Garrad-Jones states:

Following your letter with details of the proposed diversion of footpath No.3 I wish to OBJECT as when I purchased my property 17 months ago the footpath was some distance from our boundary where I wish it to stay.

24.      Diversion of the path is subject to the legal tests outlined above. These entitle a landowner to seek realignment of a path on their land so long as it is in their interest to do so. This is balanced against requirements that the new path not be substantially less convenient to the public and that regard is given to the effect the diversion will have on public enjoyment of the path as a whole, on other land served by the existing path and on land affected by the new path.

25.      The proposed diversion of the path aligns the legally recorded position of the path with the one that is available on the ground at present.  The path will remain in the same land ownership, being the agricultural field, and the title associated with Gileston Manor would not be directly affected. The boundary that the path would move closer to does not abut onto residential properties or curtilages thereof but instead contains woodland, a walled garden and small field. The detriment to neighbouring landowners therefore appears negligible.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

26.      Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

Order plan and schedule.

Email of objection

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