Agenda item

Alleged Public Footpath from West View to St Mary's Church Yard, Barnard Castle (Definitive Map Modification Order Application)


The Committee considered a report of the Corporate Director of Neighbourhoods and Climate Change with regards to an application to modify the Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way by adding a public footpath from a ginnel that connected the High Street with West View through a plot of land, that was once the site of the National Girls School, to a boundary wall separating it from St Marys Church yard in Barnard Castle (for copy see file of minutes).


The Definitive Map Officer confirmed that the Vicar at St. Marys Church had sent comments regarding the legal tests that needed to be met and stated that it was a shame the footpath would be lost due to a lack of evidence of use.  There was evidence but it did not meet the legal test which was defined as use by the public at large.


The Planning and Development Solicitor summed up the application which had been recommended for refusal due to the insufficient evidence.


Councillor Kay referred to the similarity to the test regarding village green applications, of which was described as use ‘as of right’ and he queried whether the recommendation had changed since the application in 2008.  The Definitive Map Officer advised that the previous application and draft report had not been referred to deliberately as the test was to be on the evidence submitted. 


C Kay moved the Officer’s recommendation to refuse the application.


Councillor Duffy referred to the photographs that had been submitted with the application which showed a well-trodden path which indicated that it was used on regular basis.


The Chair commented that there was evidence of use but the question was whether it was sufficient.  The Planning Development Solicitor responded that the application was to be determined on the evidence submitted and there may be other users that had not submitted user evidence, but Officers’ view was that the submitted evidence demonstrated that users were using the footpath in a private capacity as residents and guests of residents, rather than the public at large.  He added that if the application was refused, the applicant could reapply with better evidence, should that become available in the future.


Councillor Wood seconded the motion to refuse the application.




That the application be refused for the reasons outlined in the Officer’s report.

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