[Electoral Division: Alston and East Fellside]
To consider a report from the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure (copy enclosed)
The Committee considered a report from the Executive Director – Economy and Environment which proposed that the County Council extinguish public footpath no 302151 at Haggs Bank in the parish of Alston Moor District of Eden.
The route of public footpath no 302151 passed through the curtilage of the property at Haggs Bank before ascending steep rough pasture that was being developed as a bunkhouse and camping area.
The applicant landowner had applied to extinguish the whole length (126 metres) of the footpath, for the reasons of security and safety.
The Countryside Access Officer took members through the report in detail.
Members recalled that this item was presented to them at their previous meeting where it was deferred to a future meeting because it appeared the wrong District Council had been consulted. Officers had investigated the situation and found that it was an error in the report and the correct authority had been consulted.
As a result of consultations Cumbria and Lakes Joint Local Access Forum had commented that this proposal was not supported by them as the alternative existing routes would be far less convenient, direct and user-friendly than that created by a diverted FP 302151 passing through the camping ground.
Members noted that in the update sheet the local member for Alston and East Fellside had submitted a statement supporting the application to extinguish this route.
The pasture crossed by footpath no 302151 was bordered on three sides by other public rights of way, so the extinguishment of this short length of footpath would not detract from the convenience or enjoyment of the footpath network in the area. The alternative paths had similar or better surfaces than the path to be extinguished and were visibly more obvious on the ground.
The Countryside Access Officer reminded members that there was only one reason that the County Council could make a legal order to extinguish a path and that was that it was expedient on the ground that it was not needed for public use.
The officer was satisfied that the proposed extinguishment met the legal tests set out in Section 118 of the Act and, if Members approve the recommendation in this report, the order would be made in the interests of the landowner.
One of the members asked whether there were any footways/pavements along the A689. If any of the alternative routes passed along a busy highway they did not feel as if this was a practical alternative. Officers confirmed that there was no pavement in this location and there was no segregated footpath.
The Lead Lawyer reminded members that the interests of the landowner should not be taken into consideration. The only test to be applied was that the footpath was not needed for public use.
A question was asked about the accessibility of the proposed routes and whether the route proposed for extinguishment was less accessible that the others. The officer confirmed that the current route 302151 was not as accessible to less able users ... view the full minutes text for item 211