Agenda and draft minutes

Dorset Council - Strategic Planning Committee
Monday, 23rd September, 2019 11.30 am

Venue: Committee Rooms A&B,, South Walks House, South Walks Road, Dorchester, DT1 1UZ (DT1 1EE for sat nav). View directions

Contact: David Northover  01305 224175 - Email: david.northover@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence.

 

Minutes:

 

An apology for absence was received from Councillor David Tooke.

2.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

No declarations of disclosable pecuniary interests were made at the meeting.

 

3.

Public Participation

To receive questions or statements on the business of the committee from town and parish councils and members of the public.

Minutes:

There were no statements or questions from Town and Parish Councils, nor public statements or questions at the meeting.

 

4.

Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 54 KB

The Terms of Reference of the Committee are attached, for reference.

Minutes:

The Committee noted their Terms of Reference and what these entailed.

5.

Application to divert Footpath 51, Dorchester and Footpath 6, Winterborne Monkton pdf icon PDF 4 MB

To consider a report by the Executive Director for Place.

Minutes:

An application to divert Footpath 51, Dorchester and Footpath 6, Winterborne Monkton - as shown on Drawing 18/20/1 of the officer’s report - was considered by members, with particular emphasis being given to the objections received in response to the formal consultation on the application, how these should be addressed, and how to proceed in light of the officer’s recommendation that an Order be made.

 

Prior to the meeting, the Committee had visited the site of the application, to see at first hand what this proposal entailed and to have a more meaningful understanding of the material considerations, to help inform their decision.

 

With the aid of a visual presentation, the basis for the application and what it entailed was explained. Photographs and plans were shown to the Committee by way of illustration, showing how the footpath was being proposed to be diverted; its current characteristics and those associated with its setting within the landscape; the points

between which it ran; and the characteristics of the alternative diversion being proposed. Views from various points along the length of the current route and the proposed diversion - showing its topography; its relationship with the neighbouring town development - were drawn to the attention of the Committee.

 

The main reason for the application being made was on public safety grounds: so that it would not be necessary to cross the A35, as those using the route currently had to. The footpath crossed land owned by the Duchy, with the proposed diversion also being beneficial to the affected landowner and its tenant farmer.

 

Public consultation in 2018 had resulted in four objections - Councillor Roland Tarr  (the local Ward member for Winterborne and Broadmayne); a local resident; the Ramblers Association; and the Open Spaces Society, primarily on the basis that public enjoyment of the route would be diminished and that it was less convenient and attractive due to the extended length and route of what was being proposed. Other concerns expressed related to its character; proximity to the bypass and route through a business park; number of gates; its width and surfacing.

 

Whilst the objections had been considered on their merit, officer’s confirmed that their view was that the proposed diversion met the statutory legal tests for both Order making and Order confirmation under Section 119 of the Highways Act 1980. Officers clarified what those tests constituted:-

 

·        That it was in the interests of both the landowner and the public, in that public safety would be considerably improved by the diversion, benefitting from the utilisation of an already established underpass, so avoiding the need to cross the A35. The safety improvements for the public using the footpath were considered to be substantial, given that the current route was seen to pose a danger owing to the speed and volume of traffic at the point at which it crossed the road.

·        Officers were satisfied that the diversion was in the interest of the landowner as it improved land management, given that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Urgent items

To consider any items of business which the Chairman has had prior notification and considers to be urgent pursuant to section 100B (4) b) of the Local Government Act 1972. The reason for the urgency shall be recorded in the minutes.

 

Minutes:

There were no Urgent Items necessary for consideration.

7.

Update Sheet

Minutes:

Update Sheet

 

Rights of Way Application

 

 

Application Ref.

Application address

Agenda ref.

Page no.

 -

Application to divert Footpath 51,

Dorchester and Footpath 6,

Winterborne Monkton

5

5 onwards

 

Receipt of views from Councillor Roland Tarr - Winterborne and Broadmayne Ward member

 

“Thank you for your invitation to this meeting, received by us, as Ward Councillors.

 

The Mayor of Dorchester, Ward Member for Poundbury, and I, are in Bayeux, Dorchester’s Partner Town, at the invitation of the Mayor of Bayeux, from this Friday. On Monday morning we shall be laying wreaths by the graves of those local people who died during the recapture of the town by the Dorset Regiment at the end of the last war.

 

We both wish to send our apologies but should be grateful if our views could be read to the committee at a suitable time during the meeting.

 

The future of non-motorised access from the villages around Dorchester for children who come to our schools in the town as well as those who work in the town and commute from those villages is a very topical, and we are currently in discussion with the Duchy about this.

 

I taught at Hardyes for ten years, and students from the villages were unable to join in with many of the after-school activities which are organised for them - sporting, extra catch-up classes for exams, drama and music for example, because there has never been any safe usable cycling provision for returning after the school buses leave at 3.45pm.

 

Likewise, by way of example, hospital staff who like to cycle to work from the villages west  of Poundbury either have to cycle through a filthy farmyard and dismount to open multiple gates  or brave a very nasty roundabout across a fast and heavily trafficked trunk road.

 

As a council we should surely be planning to resolve these problems by discussion, and not closing existing rights of way without looking at the overall situation.

 

The two Ward Councillors would therefor ask the Strategic Planning Committee to familiarise themselves with the new path and old on Monday, but defer a final decision until further discussions have been held with the Duchy, and the tenants, who have recently indicated a wish to discuss possible mutually beneficial solutions.

 

I should also mention that local walkers park near the western, Monkeys Jump, end of this path for short early morning and evening walks on their way to and from work and enjoy the superb views of Maiden Castle which it affords.

 

I realise that the closure of this path may seem irrelevant to the general problem of lack of access for our rural population, as described above, but if it is humanly possible my preference would be for a decision on the footpath closure by our Strategic Planning Committee to be deferred pending further discussions between the Duchy , the tenants and the very new Dorset Council.

 

If we are as a Council to aim to meet our current Green commitments I  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.