Agenda and minutes

Public Rights of Way and Greens Committee
Monday, 12th December, 2016 2.00 pm

We advise to view meetings via the webcast if possible, rather than in person. Revised arrangements may apply.

Venue: City Hall, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR

Contact: Louise deCordova 

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome, Introductions and Safety Information pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Minutes:

The Chair led the welcome and introductions.

 

The Chair stated that he was the ward councillor for the Stoke Lodge area and would not be declaring an interest.

 

The Chair confirmed that he was open minded, would listen to the arguments presented and that being the local councillor did not preclude him from taking part.

2.

Apologies for Absence and Substitutions

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Wellington.

3.

Declarations of Interest

To note any declarations of interest from the Councillors.  They are asked to indicate the relevant agenda item, the nature of the interest and in particular whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest.

 

Any declarations of interest made at the meeting which is not on the register of interests should be notified to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest received.

 

4.

Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 177 KB

To agree the minutes of the previous meeting as a correct record.

Minutes:

The Committee Resolved:

 

That the Minutes of the Public Rights of Way and Greens Committee AGM held on 19 September 2016, be confirmed as a correct record.

5.

Public Forum

Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item

 

Any member of the public or Councillor may participate in Public Forum.  The detailed arrangements for so doing are set out in the Public Information Sheet at the back of this agenda.  Public Forum items should be emailed to democratic.services@bristol.gov.uk and please note that the following deadlines will apply in relation to this meeting:-

 

Questions - Written questions must be received 3 clear working days prior to the meeting.  For this meeting, this means that your question(s) must be received in this office at the latest by 5 pm on Tuesday, 6th December 2016.

 

Petitions and Statements - Petitions and statements must be received on the working day prior to the meeting.  For this meeting this means that your submission must be received in this office at the latest by 12.00 noon on Friday, 9th December 2016.

 

Minutes:

Statements

 

Members of the Committee had received Public Forum Statements in advance of the meeting.

 

Due to the exceptionally high number of statements received, the Chair asked attendees in the public gallery to select representatives from their number to speak to the statements.

 

The Statements were heard before the application and were taken fully into consideration by the Committee prior to reaching a decision. (A copy of the public forum statements are held on public record and can be accessed via Democratic Services).

6.

Application to Register Land at Stoke Lodge as a Town and Village Green under the Commons Act 2006, Section 15(2) pdf icon PDF 165 KB

This report concerns an application to register a site known as Stoke Lodge Playing Fields, Stoke Bishop, as a Town Green. 

 

Committee to take a decision on the application for a deferment (that is to adjourn the consideration of the application to register) and the determination of the application to register as a town green.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered the report of the Commons Registration Authority, Application to Register Land at Stoke Lodge as a Town and Village Green under the Commons Act 2006, Section 15(2).  The Solicitor introduced and summarised the report.

 

a.      The Committee noted that the applicant’s request for a deferment (Recommendation 1) had been withdrawn. The Committee was asked to determine the application to register a site known as Stoke Lodge Playing Fields, Stoke Bishop, as a Town Green. (Recommendation 2)

 

b.      The Committee noted that the following sentence had been omitted from the covering report (ref. para 407 of the Inspectors report).

 

However the law was not then the same. Before it was amended by the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013, section 15 (3) provided for a two year grace period. So if the applicant had called it differently on 7 March 2011 and applied under section 15 (3) and it was subsequently held that use had ceased in 2009 after 26 March 2009, he would have been in time.

 

In response to a Member’s question the following point was clarified:

 

c.       The application was not out of time (ref. Para 407). The Solicitor confirmed that the law had not been the same at that time and therefore now was the correct time for Committee to look at the matter.  The relevant date being the date of the application.

 

The Committee noted the conclusion of the inspector:

 

I recommend that the land be not registered as a town or village green because in the relevant twenty year period use by local people has not been as of right. Otherwise my recommendation would have been that the land should be registered. I do not think that any of the other reasons argued for by the objectors should lead to the rejection of the application.

 

The Committee noted that all but one leg of the test had been satisfied.

 

The Committee noted that the numbering in the officers report was incorrect after para. 43 and needed to be amended.

 

In response to Members questions the following points were clarified:

 

d.      The scope of the decision to be determined excluded all but the statutory test (para 14 of the report refers).

 

e.      The Inspector had previously recommended approval of the application in 2013, but the law had been clarified by the Winterburn vs Bennett[2016] EWCA Civ 482 case and therefore impacted the inspector’s current recommendation to reject the application.

 

f.        The issue of a waste bin on site, that appeared to be in the Council’s ownership, did not feature in the inspector’s report and Officers were not aware of it or how long it had been on the site.  Officers confirmed that this would not affect the statutory test.

 

g.      Officers were unable to provide additional details outside of those detailed in the inspector’s report with regard to the court transcript or judgement of the Winterburn vs Bennett case in relation to the use of visibly clear signage  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

7.

Town or Village Green applications update pdf icon PDF 58 KB

This report contains a schedule of the present position with regards Town or Village Green applications duly made under the Commons Act 2006.

 

Committee to note for information.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered an information report of the Commons Registration Authority, which outlined the present position with regard to Town or Village Green (TVG) applications duly made under the Commons Act 2006 and the annual external spend for TVG applications.

 

The Committee Resolved to note the report.

8.

Public Rights of Way Update pdf icon PDF 82 KB

Committee to note report for information on the present position with regard to claims under Section 53 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee considered an information report of the Service Director for Transport, which outlined the present position with regard to claims under Section 53 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981; public inquiries; and miscellaneous rights of way orders, agreements and legal proceedings, presented by the Network Operations Manager.

 

The Committee Resolved to note the report.