Duncan Venison introduced this report and made the following points concerning some of the applications listed in Appendix A (Applications for Modification of Definitive map and Statement):
· Claimed footpath at Argyle Place, Cliftonwood – This had been a very complicated case with legal action having been taken. One it has become public land, it had stalled and the claim being investigated
· Claimed footpath at South Hayes and Parkside Gardens, Lockleaze – Public access was still available through this route. However, this was the top priority case to deal with
· Claimed footpath from Machin Rd to Crow Lane, Henbury – This matter had been initially resolved in 2019. However, following a legal challenge from the landowner, it had been considered by the Secretary of State which had delayed it for a long time
· Claimed footpath at Ridgehill, Henleaze –Despite repeated attempts, officers had been unable to contact the landowner in this case. The footpath, however, remained open to the public and was being used. If the landowner continued to be difficult to contact, more detailed investigations would be made. There had never been a situation when the landowner had not been able to be contacted. It was noted that during COVID records had been closed which had created problems in applications where they were required
· Claimed footpath from Blackberry Hill (south of Frome Bridge) to FP153 – Whilst this had open access, it still remained to be validated.
· South Purdown, Lockleaze route B-C – This route remained open
· Claimed footpath Trymwood Close, Henbury Hill to Arnall Drive – The route remained open. This was Council owned land
· Claimed footpath Fishponds Road to Laburnum Grove – This was being further investigated and might need to be placed as an application with a high priority
· Claimed footpaths West Dene to Stoke Lodge, Cheyne Rd to Druid Hill, Cheyne Rd to Stoke Lodge, Cheyne Rd to West Dene – This application had previously been discussed under Public Forum and was a high priority
· Claimed footpath Penpole Lane to Public Footpath BCC/565 – This was a high priority application
· Claimed footpath Woodgrove Road to Public Footpath BCC/21 – no work had been carried out on this application yet
ACTION: that Duncan Venison/Theo Brumhard provide a timeline and reprioritised Appendix A list for the next meeting
In relation to Appendix B ( Miscellaneous Rights Of Way Orders, Agreements and Legal Proceedings), Duncan Venison made the following points:
· Most of the work relating to Public Path Orders was delegated to officers to bring the definitive map up to scratch
· A further three cases were being submitted through the legal team following some information brought to the team’s attention via a Community Group
In relation to Appendix C (Legal Event Modification Orders), he made the following points:
· There was a backlog of 166 cases from between 1966 and 2008 which needed to be put on the definitive map.
· The recent appointment of a part time Rights of Way and Greens Officer would ensure the map was up to date
The Committee expressed their thanks to this officer for the work they were carrying out.
In relation to the Improvement Programme Summary (Appendix B), he explained the following:
· This programme received a budget of £50,000 per year and set out a list of the works over the last two years – work included kissing gates and styles
· There had been recent success in getting Section 106 grants for PROWG
· City Regional Sustainable Transport Fund – this had been doubled to £100,000 for the next 5 years. A large number of requests had been received for lighting on paths. Ecology issues remained important, particularly in more rural areas
· There had been a recent article in the PROWG magazine by a Bristol City Council officer (Eddie Procter) concerning rights of way in the urban environment
In response to members’ questions, officers gave the following responses as required:
· It was noted that some Local Authorities (Including Devon) were using drones to assess public Rights of Way and produce photographs which saved time. However, officers explained that this would be more difficult in a largely urban environment like Bristol as there were regulations concerning flying drones near properties. However, they were used on some of the rockfaces on the Avon Gorge
· It was noted that the Active Travel Guide to London used MESH (a travel payment management system) which enabled active travel from one end of the city to another
RESOLVED – that the report be noted.