Seal of Disapproval?

Sometimes you might think that there are few surprises left in rights of way casework. You might be wrong. At the end of August 2017, Cheshire East Council made and published two ‘unremarkable’ s.257 diversion orders, and circulated the notice and copy orders to the usual list of statutory bodies. For no obvious reason, these … [Read more…]

Piddlehinton: Poisoned by Policy?

On 24 September 2004, Jonathan Stuart of Friends of Dorset’s Rights of Way (FoDRoW) applied to Dorset County Council for a definitive map modification order to ‘upgrade’ various public bridleways to byways open to all traffic (BOAT). These were 4 Piddlehinton, 14 (part) and 5 Piddletrenthide, 11 Cheselbourne, and 3 (part) Piddlehinton. There were two … [Read more…]

Oakridge Lane

Trail Riders Fellowship v. Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. 18 July 2017. CO/762/2017. Mr Justice Holman. Oakridge Lane, near Radlett, Hertfordshire, is an undisputed ancient public vehicular highway (a ‘main road’), effectively split into two parts by its crossing of The Brook, a meandering and somewhat mobile stream, which now … [Read more…]

Piles of Files

Practitioners in the dark arts of public inquiries will know how much of a chore it can sometimes be getting hold of the case papers early enough in the process. The Planning Inspectorate has recently updated its ‘Checklist for Order Making Authorities‘ (regarding the papers that the OMA must send to PINS with an order … [Read more…]

No Barrier Causes Railing

Local Government Ombudsman Decision. Complaint reference: 15 016 097. 6 June 2016. Available on the LGO website here. This Local Government Ombudsman decision arose from a complaint by Mrs X against Essex County Council alleging failure by the council in four areas. Two of particular interest are that the council: (1) failed to install signs … [Read more…]

Conflict of Evidence: No Resolution?

In a ‘user evidence’ order relying on s.31 of the Highways Act 1980, you need a ‘bringing into question’ date from which to count back twenty full years of user, next before. In the decision letter for a claimed public footpath in the Lake District, FPS/Q9495/7/32, Inspector Susan Doran cannot identify an event that brings the … [Read more…]

No Alternative?

In a s.257 order determination, can an Inspector decline to divert a bridleway on to an estate motor road where no reasonable alternative off-road route has been provided in the proposed development? Probably not. See the report on decision FPS/L2820/5/2.

What! No NERCA?

Inspector Michael Lowe considers an order to ‘upgrade’ a footpath route to restricted byway on the basis of pedal cycle user evidence, but he seems to overlook s.67 of NERCA with regard to a stretch of road that was previously on the list of streets. Click here for the report.

Who is the ‘Landowner’?

In a recent decision letter, reference FPS/Z1585/4/23, Inspector Peter Millman considers a s.119 diversion order ‘in the interests of the landowner.’ The landowner is in the process of selling his house, and the ongoing benefit of the diversion would accrue to a prospective purchaser. Is such a purchaser the ‘landowner’? This decision is summarised in Inquiry … [Read more…]