Current case: Bernard’s Footpath

Current case: Bernard’s Footpath

Case:ORDER DECISION REF NO ROW/3197274 and ROW/3197275

Location: , Silverdale, Morecambe Bay

Commencement Date: 2013

Devastating news that Bernard’s order was confirmed. After years of worry and stress Bernard now has a public path set to be used by walkers to tramp through the garden of his home.

Bernard’s Blog

Four day Public Inquiry held on January 15th 2019

  •  The Inspector ignored facts.
  •  A previous neighbour admitted being misled but withdrew the statement.

This now opens door to the Coastal Footpath coming through my front garden.

  • There is a 4.5 metre gap between house and sea wall
  • We will have no privacy.
  • When tides make routes impassable we will be a public viewing gallery for people to watch the tides and storms.
  • The irony is the sand marsh that remains.
  • The foreshore was made common land under the CRoW Act 2000 where the public are not concerned about footpaths

My house is bounded on the southern side by a sea wall.

My house and adjacent Dyke House were both formerly Farms built circa 1600.

The enlargement of the sand marsh below stopped in 1977. It has been in retreat since but had previously extended more than 450 metres west of my home.

 Lancashire County Council agree that the sea wall existed before 1848.

In 1981 the chief Engineer informed the Parish Council he could not determine where the route lay.

In 1992 my neighbours complained to Lancashire City Council of rubbish dumping on the sand marsh.The landowner concerned was instructed to remove it. He was aggrieved by the complaint and informed us he would “get his own back” .

We became ‘piggy in the middle’.

November 1993 Lancashire County Council Footpath Inspector visited and asked My wife where the route went. This was 27 years after the Definitive Map was completed.

He erected a Way Sign indicator directing to the sand marsh route.

In June 1994 the Footpath Inspector returned and informed My wife that his ‘Office’  said that the footpath route was through our garden.

No sign was erected but we were threatened with court action if we obstructed what was now a footpath through our garden.

Lancashire Council’s Solicitor advised that if we could obtain 10 unrelated persons to confirm that the route was on sand marsh, legal action would be voided. More than ten letters were submitted. 

Lancashire County Council would not disclose the name of the person who was making the claim that the footpath went through our home.

Discussion with Lancashire Council and the Highways Dept ensued.

The Highways representative measured the route on the Definitive map.He established that the end of FP14 was on the sand marsh.

It was not within my garden.

Lancashire county Council attempted to disown this but in May 1996 had to agree it wason the sand marsh

In June & August 1996 Lancashire Council held 2 Meetings to attempt to establish the route. They failed.

 The Committee refused, on the word of Chairman to visit the site(contrary to the law) 

Lancashire County Council requested that a retired Judge with extensive knowledge of RoW matters to try and negotiate a route. Unfortunately the intransigence of the ‘landowner ‘ who had been aggreived about the complaint of rubbish dumping against him, prevented an agreement.

In 2009 Peak & Northern Footpath Society made claim for the route through my garden because storms of 1996/7 had turned the sand marsh into foreshore. All tracks of the paths walked had gone but the uncovered dumped rubble and stone, all deposited by the Landowner, remained. 

Peak and Northern Footpath Society considered that a Public Footpath would never be sited on such ground. 

This apart they did not know where route ended.

The Officers in 2012 presented a Report to the Regulatory Committee.

This rejected the Peak & Northern Footpath Society claim.

Officers then claimed that the Cartographers had made mistakes in compiling the Definitive Map and that the route went ‘just ‘ into my garden.

They suggested that immediately after leaving my garden the route went through ,over or under the sea wall and onto the foreshore. 

They considered that the Definitive Map should be amended to totally go through my front garden. 

The Regulatory Committee found that the evidence was not reviewed which proved a route on the sand marsh and directed an amendment to the Definitive Map to avoid any future confusion on route. 

The Officers said they held no dedication and that common law was inapplicable.

In 2013 Peak & Northern Footpath Society appealed and the Planning Inspector said that the 1786 Yates Map applied.

Officers said that latter maps did not corroborate the 1786 Yates Map.

The Finance Act details stated that there was no Footpath.

In 2013 Officers pushed the appeal through due to the Regulatory Committee’s ignorance on legal matters.

There was NO SITE VISIT.

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