Footpath Never Diverted - Help

rachelandgromit
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Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:35 pm

Footpath Never Diverted - Help

Post by rachelandgromit »

There is a temporary footpath than runs down the side of my property.

I have uploaded a plan as an attachment, now as you can see, the footpath in red, runs through the 'CHURCHFIELDS' sign, actually runs through the church. When I have queried this, the previous parish clerk to the parish council advised me the following:


However you will note that the Footpath goes through or is obstructed by the Hall built onto the Catholic Church. As far as Public Rights of Way are concerned the route of this Footpath is obstructed by the Church Hall when it was built and the issue has never been resolved.

The temporary route and that is exactly, what it is, is shown in blue and runs alongside your bungalow from the Recreation Ground to the edge of the Footpath in Churchfields. This temporary section was agreed when the Church Hall was built many years ago to allow the Public Footpath to remain unobstructed whilst a request was being made for a Public Footpath Diversion Order to change the route of the Footpath so that it would go down the full length of the Recreation Ground and shown in Green and this temporary route could hen be closed. This was about 40 years ago and originally No 1 Churchfields was the home of the Priest for the Catholic Church and I think they wanted to stop up the alleyway so the Priest could go direct from his home into the Church.

However because there was one objector in particular the Public Footpath Diversion Order despite several attempts was never made.

The situation remains unresolved to this day. I have all the necessary correspondence relating to this and if you wish I will dig it out of the dead files and copy it to you however I have forwarded your e. mail direct to Public Rights of Way who should confirm what I have said.


Now I bought the property from the church in 2006, only moving in some months ago, prior to this it had been empty for some time and had never really been a permanent residence as there were always different priests so it was used more as a meeting place, etc.. Since moving in I've had problems with noise with people walking down the footpath, rubbish thrown over as people use it to walk to the recreational grounds, and people walking through with dogs not on leads messing on my garden. I imagine it's never been raised as an issue as with no-one living there for a significant amount of time, it's never been a problem. Where do I stand, clearly the Highways Act 1980 at the time wasn't in place as the church was built in 1953, when really they should have sorted out the footpath then!
Footpath.png
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w3526602
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Re: Footpath Never Diverted - Help

Post by w3526602 »

Hi,

If permission was given, permission can be taken away .... but I'm not sure if that applies in your case ...... too many people using the path without specifically been given permission.

Get copies of the correspondence, etc.

602
602 (That was my "last three")
Roblewis
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Re: Footpath Never Diverted - Help

Post by Roblewis »

I think you can raise the problem with the council as they have failed to make a permanent diversion and as such the temporary route needs now to be amended. Given the agreement with the council then it is fair to expect them to complete the diversion even so many years later. I lived recently in a 1960 built house and the diversion was only completed in 2008.

I think the ombudsman has authority in this area - check this out if you get no joy.
Sudynim
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Re: Footpath Never Diverted - Help

Post by Sudynim »

The map is very small for my tired old eyes. Let's recap :

- The church has a Public ROW running through it's land.
- The church built a hall 40 years ago, which obstructed the ROW
- The church unofficially diverted the ROW around the obstruction.
- The diverted route passes close to a boundary, and you live on the other side.
- You don't like people walking on the church's land near your boundary
- You would like the PROW to be diverted to the green route.

If that's right, then you have limited options. It's arguable that after 40 years of regular use the blue route has become a PROW now anyway, and that opening the green route wouldn't automatically allow the blue one to be closed. You might find that a 6ft fence is the only practical choice.

It would be useful to know the incumbent priest's position - would he support you in campaigning for green, or does he like having his parishioners coming through the church grounds? Would his Diocese fund the legal costs to apply for closure of Blue & Old Red?
andrew54
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Re: Footpath Never Diverted - Help

Post by andrew54 »

Rachel, if the 'temporary route' is on your land then you could put up fences to block that route. People might then claim it as an established route, used for over 20 years. You can also complain to the local highway authority that the proper route is obstructed by the church building.

None of this is likely to benefit you, so why not fence off the route from your garden and be happy that people have the use of this path?
Roblewis
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Re: Footpath Never Diverted - Help

Post by Roblewis »

Sudynim

As I say though my previous house awaited 50 years for the official diversion. I think the OP needs to deal with this tardy council
Sudynim
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Re: Footpath Never Diverted - Help

Post by Sudynim »

Roblewis wrote:Sudynim

As I say though my previous house awaited 50 years for the official diversion. I think the OP needs to deal with this tardy council
The ROW through the church's land was re-routed to accommodate an obstruction 40 years ago. There is no scope for the council to take enforcement action on that now, it has become a de-facto ROW. An application was made around that time to close the ROW through the church's land, but this fell due to objections.

I don't see what obligation is upon the council resulting from that. If the church wishes to make a new application to close the ROW through it's land, then I assume it will be considered under the normal procedures.
Last edited by Sudynim on Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
andrew54
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Re: Footpath Never Diverted - Help

Post by andrew54 »

Sudynim wrote: The ROW through the church's land was re-routed to accommodate a blockage 40 years ago. There is no scope for the council to take enforcement action on that now, it has become a de-facto ROW. An application was made around that time to close the ROW through the church's land, but this fell due to objections.

I don't see what obligation is upon the council resulting from that. If the church wishes to make a new application to close the ROW through it's land, then I assume it will be considered under the normal procedures.
I agree the council is not to blame. But I feel the council (Highway Authority) could still take action to get the original path opened up. This unofficial second path is nothing to do with the obstructed path, and will have become a right through 20 years use.
Sudynim
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Re: Footpath Never Diverted - Help

Post by Sudynim »

andrew54 wrote:
Sudynim wrote: The ROW through the church's land was re-routed to accommodate a blockage 40 years ago. There is no scope for the council to take enforcement action on that now, it has become a de-facto ROW. An application was made around that time to close the ROW through the church's land, but this fell due to objections.

I don't see what obligation is upon the council resulting from that. If the church wishes to make a new application to close the ROW through it's land, then I assume it will be considered under the normal procedures.
I agree the council is not to blame. But I feel the council (Highway Authority) could still take action to get the original path opened up. This unofficial second path is nothing to do with the obstructed path, and will have become a right through 20 years use.
They could take action to declare the Green route a ROW (if it isn't already one), but that's not going to help the OP. She wants the Blue path to be closed or diverted from proximity to her home, and I would be surprised if that could be achieved with an application from the church.
andrew54
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Re: Footpath Never Diverted - Help

Post by andrew54 »

Sudynim wrote: She wants the Blue path to be closed or diverted from proximity to her home, and I would be surprised if that could be achieved with an application from the church.
The church could apply for a diversion to route the blue route tight to the church hall, rather than tight to the OP's land. That still leaves the church with the problem that the hall is obstructing the original path.
Sudynim
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Re: Footpath Never Diverted - Help

Post by Sudynim »

andrew54 wrote:
Sudynim wrote: She wants the Blue path to be closed or diverted from proximity to her home, and I would be surprised if that could be achieved with an application from the church.
The church could apply for a diversion to route the blue route tight to the church hall, rather than tight to the OP's land. That still leaves the church with the problem that the hall is obstructing the original path.
Sorry, my typo "surprised if that could be achieved without an application from the church"
rachelandgromit
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Re: Footpath Never Diverted - Help

Post by rachelandgromit »

Thanks for all your responses.

I got the ball rolling with this mid February this year and Chester and Cheshire West Council have been non-too helpful I also raised asked the following points.

1. What is the status of the temporary path, e.g. who owns the land?
2. Why was the church hall allowed to be built without the footpath diversion order being completed under the relevant planning Act applicable at the time.
3. What were the grounds of the objection made by the objector?

The reply was:


1) As far as I am aware the land is owned by the church, that is an assumption which will have to be checked with the land registry. The path is a diversion on the ground.

2) As I understand it, a diversion order was applied for but could not be made as there was an objection. (the process was different at the time.) I cannot answer the planning part of the question.

3) We do not have those records but I believe the Parish Clerk has that information.

We will be investigating the situation.


On my land registry documents it isn't clear who owns the property, infact it doesn't seem to exist as there is my boundary, then the church's boundary with no gap in between! I am waiting to hear from the council - I'm not sure who else will be able to clarify this. Google Earth has a really good view of the property and footpath. On the left of the footpath is the railings to the church - their boundary, on the right is my property, then the fencing to my garden. The reason I have issues with the footpath is people throwing litter over my fence whilst walking through the footpath, people using the footpath whilst walking their dogs, and letting their dogs use my front garden as a toilet. I have been keeping a daily log of the problems I have had, which, I do not believe I would be experiencing if it wasn't for the footpath, which should have been diverted, if that makes sense. Trying to get this through to the council is proving difficult as they don't see it as an issue but imagine cleaning kebab boxes, dog censored and hearing f**in from youths using the footpath to get to the skate park at turned 11pm at night, and it becomes a massive issue!
rachelandgromit
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Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:35 pm

Re: Footpath Never Diverted - Help

Post by rachelandgromit »

Thanks for all your responses.

I got the ball rolling with this mid February this year and Chester and Cheshire West Council have been non-too helpful I also raised asked the following points.

1. What is the status of the temporary path, e.g. who owns the land?
2. Why was the church hall allowed to be built without the footpath diversion order being completed under the relevant planning Act applicable at the time.
3. What were the grounds of the objection made by the objector?

The reply was:


1) As far as I am aware the land is owned by the church, that is an assumption which will have to be checked with the land registry. The path is a diversion on the ground.

2) As I understand it, a diversion order was applied for but could not be made as there was an objection. (the process was different at the time.) I cannot answer the planning part of the question.

3) We do not have those records but I believe the Parish Clerk has that information.

We will be investigating the situation.


On my land registry documents it isn't clear who owns the property, infact it doesn't seem to exist as there is my boundary, then the church's boundary with no gap in between! I am waiting to hear from the council - I'm not sure who else will be able to clarify this. Google Earth has a really good view of the property and footpath. On the left of the footpath is the railings to the church - their boundary, on the right is my property, then the fencing to my garden. The reason I have issues with the footpath is people throwing litter over my fence whilst walking through the footpath, people using the footpath whilst walking their dogs, and letting their dogs use my front garden as a toilet. I have been keeping a daily log of the problems I have had, which, I do not believe I would be experiencing if it wasn't for the footpath, which should have been diverted, if that makes sense. Trying to get this through to the council is proving difficult as they don't see it as an issue but imagine cleaning kebab boxes, dog censored and hearing f**in from youths using the footpath to get to the skate park at turned 11pm at night, and it becomes a massive issue!
rachelandgromit
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Re: Footpath Never Diverted - Help

Post by rachelandgromit »

Oh, and one thing I should make clear is that the church has metal fencing/gates locked all around it, apparantly these were added later as they use to get people 'hanging around' the church, when I referred to the fencing been on the left hand side of the footpath, it is the church fencing and side of the church. The gates at the front of the church are only opened when the church is open. My fence is already 6ft tall but it doesn't do anything to prevent the problems. I would gladly put a gate at each end of the footpath if they were happy for me to close it off!!
andrew54
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Re: Footpath Never Diverted - Help

Post by andrew54 »

I think you are going to struggle with this one Rachel. The Highway Authority deal with footpaths, but they promote paths - not close them. You have bought property next to an established footpath - what did you expect?

You can fence your property to keep dogs out, but you have to deal with litter thrown over yourself. Swearing is a police matter, but do you think it's bad enough to involve them?
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