Letter dated: 20th January 2017
To: Ms Jeanette McLoughlin
Liverpool City Council
Liverpool L2 2DH
Dear Ms McLoughlin,
SECTION 53 OF THE WILDLIFE AND COUNTRYSIDE ACT 1981
LIVERPOOL CITY COUNCIL DEFINITIVE MAP AND STATEMENT
MODIFICATION No.5 ORDER 2016
PUBLIC RIGHT OF WAY 77: ACREFIELD ROAD TO WOOLTON PARK, L25
The Gateacre Society's Executive Committee has asked me to write to you, to express our support for the inclusion of the Acrefield Road-Glenacres-Byron Court-Woolton Park footpath in the City Council's Definitive Map of Public Rights of Way.
The Gateacre Society was founded in 1974 as a local amenity/conservation society (registered at that time with The Civic Trust) and has campaigned for the preservation of Rights of Way on a number of occasions since. We believe that footpaths are a significant feature of the Woolton/Gateacre area, and play an important part in encouraging people to walk rather than use cars for local journeys. The fact that some footpaths attract anti-social behaviour is not, we feel, a valid reason for sealing them off, as it is the presence of law-abiding citizens passing along them which helps create a sense of 'community supervision' within the area.
Section 31 of the Highways Act 1980 states that "Where a way over any land, other than a way of such a character that use of it by the public could not give rise at common law to any presumption of dedication, has been actually enjoyed by the public as of right and without interruption for a full period of 20 years, the way is to be deemed to have been dedicated as a highway unless there is sufficient evidence that there was no intention during that period to dedicate it".
In the case of this particular pedestrian route, there cannot in our view be any argument about the path's status, as innumerable local residents and visitors have been using the route in question, without hindrance, for the past 40 years. When planning permission 99P/1289 was granted by the City Council on 2 March 2000, "to demolish [Acrefield Bank] residential care home and erect 20 flats [later named Byron Court] in a part 3 part 4 storey block with associated car parking", Condition 7 stated that:
"Prior to the commencement of development, full details of the means and method of closure (to vehicular traffic) of the access between Woolton Park and Acrefield Road ... shall be submitted to and approved by the local planning authority. For the avoidance of all doubt, the agreed method of closure shall be designed to safely and conveniently accommodate pedestrian and cycle access …"
In early March 2016 a brick wall (with railings on top) was built by the Byron Court (Liverpool) Management Co Ltd, making it impossible for people to walk between Byron Court and Glenacres. The Management Company said that they had acted in response to advice received from Liverpool City Council's Highways and Planning departments. This advice was, we believe, either incorrect or misinterpreted.
Continued . . .