The Planning Inspectorate has published its decision about the rights of way around Panta Farm.

A Public Local Inquiry to determine modifications to the map recording rights of way around Panta Farm was due to be held in March 2020. The issues relating to rights of way in this area are of a particular interest to Devauden residents because the paths form part of the quickest walking route to the Fountain Inn at Trellech Grange.  As the Masons Arms is currently closed, the Fountain is the nearest pub to Devauden (the walk takes about 45 minutes from the village). 

Notices about the public inquiry were posted along the route in question as well as in the windows of the village shop but the inquiry was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Authority to make the decision was passed to appointed Planning Inspector and the outcome of her review has now been published.  

The route in question is referred to as 53-16 and was formerly on the official List of Streets as a 'County Unclassified Road'.  It isn't clear why this route was taken off the List of Streets but that was not done by a formal order. When the route as added back to the List of Streets the landowner made a complaint to the ombudsman.  An investigation was then undertaken on behalf of the council by consultants, Robin Carr Associates, who reviewed the historical evidence and carried out two public consultations.   

It seems that the route had fallen out of use over time. However, if vehicular rights of way existed historically, then the rights would still exist today.  Based on evidence in the report provided by the consultants, the Local Authority made a Definitive Map Modification Order to register the route as a restricted byway. Objections to the modification, presumably form the landowners, were received during the consultation period.  As the Local Authority wasn't able to resolve the objections the matter was passed to the Planning Inspectorate, hence the Public Local Inquiry.

The maps below show the route of the proposed restricted byway (53-16) and an historical map from 1823 which appears to show the same route.  The investigation by Robin Carr Associates found several other maps from the first half of the nineteenth century which show this route.

More details of the background can be found on the Monmouth County Council Website.  The various maps etc. can be viewed by following links from the page for the Agenda and minutes of the Special Meeting of the  Rights of Way Advisory Panel, Licensing and Regulatory Committee held on Tuesday, 19th July, 2016.

The Planning Inspector's decision was that the Order should be confirmed but modified so that route shown from points A to E on the map would be designated as a footpath rather than a restricted byway.  She also conclude that a restricted byway does exist between Order points ‘E’ and ‘G’. As the Inspector has proposed modifications to the Order there will now be an opportunity for further objections and representations to be made.  As of July 2020 a timetable for this consultation has not yet been made available.






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