ANNUAL PARISH MEETING 2019 RIGHTS OF WAY
NETHER WALLOP PARISH COUNCIL ANNUAL PARISH MEETING 2019
RIGHTS OF WAY (INCLUDING LENGTHSMAN ACTIVITY)
A good year with our Rights of Way staying in relatively good order given the resources available to keep them clear.
HCC Contractors carried out the annual major clearance of the Parish’s nominated Rights of Way (primarily the large Restricted Byways west of the B3084 Romsey Road) as planned in August, and to a high standard.
This was the first full year of the HCC Lengthsman Scheme. This provides (at current rates) up to 57 hours of work by the Lengthsman on either Rights of Way or simple Highways related tasks; in the reporting period the Lengthsman carried out 54 hours of work, so the resource was well used.
Notification was received from HCC that it has received a further application claiming a historic Rights of Way across private land in the Parish, bringing the ongoing total to six.
There is an ongoing issue with a number of stiles on the footpath running north from Wallop Primary School (see below)
Overview of Responsibilities:
Statutory responsibility (duty) for maintaining Rights of Way lies with Hampshire County Council. This responsibility is not delegated down to Parishes, which have a right (power), but not a responsibility, to carry out maintenance. In practice HCC contractors carry out a clearance operation on five RoW (nominated by NWPC) once per year. The HCC Lengthsman carried out 33 hours of work on RoW. Throughout the year further work was carried out by the NWPC Rights of Way officer on a voluntary basis, supported by other volunteers.
Iain James has committed approximately 30 hours of volunteer time “on the ground” using the NWPC owned strimmer and hedge cutter. He has been helped by Mr Simon Tilling, who worked on the paths around School Lane, Mr Mark Lovell, who has carried out work on the Spring Pond, and Hollom Down Road drove roads, and by the efforts of landowners and house owners keeping the paths on or adjacent to their properties clear. In addition Mr Tilling, and others, have helped with chainsaw work on fallen trees and branches as required.
The RoW officer does not claim expenses other than running costs for the machines.
Scope of Works Carried Out by NWPC:
Strimming/side cutting of all the principal footpaths in the main body of the Parish area, together with some of the Restricted Byways west of the B3084 Romsey Road, and between Hollom Down Road and the A343.
Replacement and reinstatement of timber finger boards and way marker discs as required across the Parish.
HCC Contractors carried out the annual major clearance of the Parish’s nominated Rights of Way (primarily the large Restricted Byways west of the B3084 Romsey Road) as planned in August, and to a high standard. For the coming year, the nominated Rights of Way for HCC clearance are again the major Restricted Byways (RBs 35, 36 and 37), Footpath 4 (The Dean – Knockwood Lane) and (as a one off for this year) FP 23 which is north of the A343 crossroads.
Several instances of significant fly tipping were reported through the TVBC online system by the RoW officer during the last year. All were cleared within 48 hours. TVBC are to be thanked again for this excellent service.
The only significant issue is the poor state of a series of stiles on the footpath running from School Lane north to the A343. This starts as Nether Wallop FP2, but the majority is Over Wallop FP7. Statutory responsibility for stiles lies with the landowner. During the early part of the year, our Lengthsman carried out improvements on FP2, including adding non slip mesh, and this path is one of our priorities for strimming. Following an accident on the Over Wallop section of the path the NWPC RoW officer has been in touch with the HCC Senior Access Warden who has undertaken to deal direct with the landowners concerned. NWPC has also received an intervention from the Romsey Ramblers on the same issue.
Definitive Map Modification Orders (DMMO) There are now six DMMO orders submitted to HCC by a resident of Andover, the majority of which seek to establish a network of new Rights of Way south of Danebury by claiming evidence of historical use dating back to the 19th Century. The individual appears not to have consulted the landowners or NWPC before submitting these applications. The Landowners concerned, who are primarily responsible for responding to the claims, are aware. NWPC will be invited in due course to comment on these applications, although this is not expected to be for many months, if not years.
Lengthsman (HCC Direct Funded)
The scheme gives NWPC access to up to £1000 of RoW or Highways related works to be carried out by an independent HCC subcontractor. For FY 18/19 the charge rate was £17.50 per hour (57 hours), for FY 19/20 it is £19.00 per hour (52.5 hours). Our Lengthsman is administered by Stockbridge PC, and all invoicing and payment administration is handled by its nominated officer. Over the twelve months of the reporting period, the Lengthsman carried out 54 hours of work, of which 33 was focused on Rights of Way and 21 on Highways (primarily maintaining road drains and clearing sight lines), although this “pot” also includes work on the A343 bus stop, and The Rill. Work was also been carried out adding non-slip grillages to numerous stiles and footbridges on a number of footpaths around the Parish using materials provided by HCC.
Although Lengthsman funding is allocated on a public sector Apr/Apr Financial Year, we were granted carry forward of some uncommitted funds from FY 17/18 which has allowed some useful early work on some the Restricted Byways to be carried out in May, dealing with Spring growth delayed by the cold weather in Feb/Mar. This situation has been repeated for the coming financial year. Overall the budget proved sufficient for our needs, albeit that with the relatively dry winter there was a reduced requirement for road drainage works.
NWPC Rights of Way