The letter, drawings and questionnaire below have gone out from the City Council to residents near Footpath 181 to update them about what has happened and announce the start of a consultation. If you would like a copy of the questionnaire or plans please let me know. There will be a ‘drop-in’ session to discuss the consultation and options at: St Barnabas Hall, Hardy Lane, M21 7GX on Thursday 07th November between 13.15 and 19.45.The drop in session will be held for the local community to come along and discuss the consultation options for Footpath 181 with City Council Officers. You will also be able to drop off any completed questionnaires or alternative options you may have. Let me know your thoughts.
"You may be aware of recent events surrounding a public right of way (Footpath 181), the route of which runs between Claude Road and Barlow Moor Road, and partly along Chorlton Brook.
This public right of way has been unused for over sixty years. The Council recently made an attempt to close it formally. The closure proposal was opposed by some local residents and right of way organisations. The case was considered at Manchester Magistrates Court on 1st to 3rd July 2013. Whilst the Council was granted the closure between Anchorside Close and Barlow Moor Road, the Judge did not accept that the section between Claude Road and Anchorside Close was
‘unnecessary for public use’ and ruled that this section of the footpath should not be closed.
The Council is required to ensure that the part of Footpath 181 that has not been closed by the Court can be used. Before we begin work to ensure that the path can be used, we want to consult with local residents, businesses and interested parties on possible diversions of the path. The consultation will close on 23rd December 2013. The Council will consider the responses to this consultation and make a decision in January 2014 as to whether to promote a diversion of the remainder of Footpath 181. If a diversion is promoted then a formal procedure for the diversion of the footpath will be commenced. This procedure will include an opportunity for interested parties to object to the diversion and may result in the diversion being refused.
We would like to hear your views on each of the options (described in full below and illustrated on the attached drawings) and also your comments / ideas on any other routes that you feel should be considered. Please complete the questionnaire, making sure that you complete the name and address section of the questionnaire (we want to ensure that the local community and other relevant stakeholders have their say.)
What is the consultation asking?
Since the ruling, a number of formal notices have been served to the Council, ordering obstructions to be removed from - and the overall clearance of - the footpath. We have, therefore, contacted those individuals and / or businesses, who have ‘built’ across the footpath, asking that any obstructions are removed.
We recognise that use of the footpath will bring about significant problems for some householders who have invested in their gardens and extended over the path.
This consultation aims to determine whether there is a better route than the current right of way.
What are the options?
There are five separate options. We want to know whether any of options 1, 2, 3 4 or 5 are acceptable alternatives to the ‘Default Option’. The ‘Default Option’ - The drawing showing the ‘Default Option “ indicates a route along the existing line of Footpath 181 as shown on the Council’s Definitive Map avoiding numbers 9 and 11 Anchorside Drive. This line will run along the edge of Chorlton Brook, through the gardens adjacent to numbers 9 and 11 Anchorside Close and onto Anchorside Close.
If none of the alternative options are chosen by the Council then this ‘Default Option’ will have to be the option that is implemented.
Options 1 & 2 - The drawing showing ‘Alternative Option 1 and 2’ indicates a complete bypass of what is the current line of Footpath 181. Both 1 and 2 involve the construction of a new footbridge across Chorlton Brook, with a new access point to be formed on Anchorside Close. Option 1 then shows a new route formed through the rear of Meade Manor and Option 2 shows a new route to be formed through the front of Meade Manor, along the existing line of the brook. Both options will create good links to Metrolink.
Option 3 - ‘Alternative Option 3’ again indicates a complete bypass of what is the current line of Footpath 181. This option involves the construction of a new footbridge across Chorlton Brook, with a new access point to be formed on Anchorside Close. A new access point will also be formed through a fence and onto Rainbow Close (subject to agreement and approval). Again, creating good links to Metrolink.
Option 4 - ‘Alternative Option 4’ indicates the existing line of Footpath 181 with a minor diversion around Anchorside Close. The footpath will remain intact for almost its entire length but will be accessed through a new opening to the north of Anchorside Close. The diversion will pass around Anchorside Close and rejoin the current line of the footpath at the side of 9 and 11 Anchorside Close.
Option 5 - Alternative Option 5 shows a path following the route of the default option with a minor diversion through a new opening in the existing fence to the rear of Arden Court with the footpath emerging onto Oakhouse Drive.
If you would like to discuss any of the options with council officers, we’ll be organising a drop in event at St Barnabas Hall, Hardy Lane, M21 7GX on Thursday 07th November between 13.15 and 19.45 and would urge you to come along. The closing date of this consultation is 23rd December 2013, however, with the Christmas period being a busy time for mail deliveries we will be accepting returns until Monday the 30th December. Please make sure that you’ve completed and returned your questionnaire to us by this date using the return envelope provided.
We will contact you again in early 2014 with the results of this consultation. In the meantime, if you have any questions, you can contact either of the officers detailed below. Thank you for your help with this process.
Strategic Area Manager
(0161 234 5120; Email: email@example.com)
(Tel 0161 234 5501; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)"