Agenda item


[Electoral Division: Cartmel]


To consider a report from the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure


A report was considered from the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure regarding the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 - Section 53 Application to Add a Public Footpath at Penny Bridge Cartmel in the Parish of Lower Allithwaite: District of South Lakeland. The report advised that an application had been received to add a section of public footpath at Penny Bridge, Cartmel in the parish of Lower Allithwaite to the Definitive Map and Statement. A report had been presented to the Committee on 13 April 2022, when it was resolved that the item be deferred to a future meeting pending additional information. The purpose of the report was to present Members with the evidence regarding the route, and for a decision to be made whether to proceed with the next stage of the process by making a legal order.

The Countryside Access Officer made his presentation using plans and photographs to explain the application.

The Chair was interested in what would happen to the section A’-B if the application was rejected. The Countryside Access Officer explained that this section was already recorded on the 1980 Highways Act section 36 List of Streets as maintainable at the public expense so if the whole path was not added to the Definitive Map, it would still be protected.

Following member questions, the Countryside Access Officer advised on the location of the path in relation to the beck, confirmed that the bridge had been used to access the pub, addressed issues of public safety, explained that the Parish Council and South Lakeland District Council had discussed the removal of the bridge if the path was not to become a registered public right of way and confirmed the owner of the bridge was unknown.

The Countryside Access Officer reported that the bridge had been blocked up by local people five years ago adding that the installation of a new nearby bridge had been partly justified for this reason. The Chair explained to members the location of the new bridge.

A query was raised as to whether the Right of Way could stop before the bridge. The Countryside Access Officer explained that the County Council did not have any liability or authority in terms of the bridge and currently there was not a recorded Right of Way over the bridge.

The Countryside Access Officer advised that members could not amend the claimed  route.

Mr Morgan moved the recommendation as set out in the report and asked that the bridge be made safe in the interest of public safety. The Countryside Access Officer advised that the applicant could appeal to the Secretary of State if the application was rejected but reiterated that action to remove the bridge would be undertaken by the Parish and District Councils. Mr Morgan was satisfied with this course of action. The motion was seconded by Mr McGuckin.

After a member said it was important to pay regard to the views of the Parish Council he asked about the number of residents in the locality. The Countryside Access Officer reported how there had only been a response to the further consultation from the Parish Council although this was comprehensive.

The Chair moved to the vote which was cast as follows: 15 members in favour of the motion, 0 against and 1 abstention. Mr Hamilton did not vote as he was not in the room for the whole item.

RESOLVED that,  the application to add a public right of way at Penny Bridge in the parish of Lower Allithwaite be rejected.

There was a five minute recess at 11.15am

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