West Berks Ramblers

Working for Walkers

2016 Footpath East

Footpath Secretary (East) Report

Presented at the AGM held on Friday 11th November 2016 in the Mencap Hall Newbury

There have been three planning applications this year which have been of particular concern

Application Number 16/02744/COMIND – Free Range Egg Laying Unit at Plantation Farm Beedon Common

  • The application shows some encroachments onto Rights of Way that surround the site.
  • The access road to the egg laying plant would cross footpath BEED/16/1 presenting a hazard to walkers from heavy goods vehicles. We have requested that warning signs addressed to both types of users be placed and that the path be reinforced at the crossing point.
  • A high boundary fence would be erected right around the development.
  • However the Definitive Map shows that this fence would have to cross bridleway BEED/9/3 and footpaths BEED/21/4 and BEED/21/2 in the Northeast corner of the development.
  • The map shows that users do not follow the definitive paths (see dotted lines on map) and the developers have assumed that these informal routes allowed them to set the boundary fences to the far North East corner.
  • However, users of these informal routes are trespassing and a future challenge to this usage could mean the paths would be lost unless official diversions could be negotiated.
  • For this reason, we have raised an objection to the Application.

Application Number 15/03023/FULD – Land South of Grovelands, Pear Tree Lane, Newbury

The Application is for a new home to be built on a plot of land beside Pear Tree Lane in the Shaw area of North Newbury.

Responses from Consultation

  • There is much local opposition because the design is out of character with the existing housing.
  • Objections from the Planning Office include that it lies outside of the settlement boundary for that area of Newbury.
  • The house would need access via Pear Tree Lane which is a private road which has rights of way (NEWB/20/1 and COLD/14/2) running along it.
  • There is another Right of Way (COLD/13/1) which runs along the northern boundary of Shaw Cemetery and joins COLD/14/2 just to the south of the entrance of the proposed development.
  • Construction traffic would damage the footpaths and present a hazard to users of the footpaths.
  • After completion the traffic to the house would damage the Lane but WBDC would only be obliged to maintain it to the standard of a footpath.
  • The application has been refused but the applicants have gone to appeal.

Scoping Application 16/01955/SCOPE – A request from Grundon to WBDC for scoping opinion for extension of quarrying at Kennetholme Quarry, South Thatcham

Purpose of Extension: To extract 1 million tonnes of gravel and then restore to agriculture after 12 years

WBDC Planning and Countryside have responded with opinions from various bodies including:

  • Ramblers
  • Natural England
  • Historic England
  • Highways 

Highways have insisted that developers show consideration for non-motorised users on existing rights of way and make provision for footpaths and cycleways into the wider locality

Ramblers have questioned:

  • Grundon’s commitment to restore depleted works
  • Demonstrate that existing bridleways and footpaths that cross the site can be protected during quarrying

Doug Larsen

Sunday, September 24, 2017