Footpath 181

the place on the chorlton bulletin board for vegetable-spread related chatter and other matters...it's the first, the best and it's currently hack free.
Pearl
Posts: 582
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 1:21 pm

Re: Footpath 181

Postby Pearl » Tue Aug 13, 2013 1:26 pm

I have to say I am impressed with the standard of comments on the M.E.N. these days - one here has untranslated quotations in two languages! Don't remember it being like this last time I looked.

freeguitarlesson
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:58 pm

Re: Footpath 181

Postby freeguitarlesson » Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:19 pm

In vino veritas, my old pedigree chum; tempest fugit.
"Your optimism strikes me like junk mail addressed to the dead..."

belperfury
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 11:15 am
Location: Chorlton

Re: Footpath 181

Postby belperfury » Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:52 pm

the spin on this article is amazing.

the council successfully 'stopped up' about 3/4 of the footpath - including the section which has been built upon on anchorside close. they lost the case on a small section which connects anchorside close to claude road.

the 'cock up' referred to is that the council could have easily stopped it up years ago but went to court with a poorly prepared case against the rambers association who had bought in a specialist legal expert to fight their position.

i think any party politics in this situation is a complete red herring. the real important point is whether spending £100k+ to open a very small section of path is of benefit to the community, or does it create more problems than it solves and diverts funds from more worthy projects.

the section of the path which needs opening has several large mature trees (amongst other obstacles) blocking it and the brick-built bank of the brook is slowly collapsing. to deal with both those problems, even ignoring the difficulty of access of machinery to the area, is going to be costly. and, ironically, the green nature of the footpath which was a key argument to avoid 'stopping up' will have to be destroyed to provide access.

stephennewton
Posts: 152
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Location: Anchorside Close, M21 8AR
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Re: Footpath 181

Postby stephennewton » Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:45 pm

Party politics is a red herring and irrelevant in any case. But it is incredible that John Leech has managed to make this all about the Lib Dems (who have not always opposed the footpath, see today's MEN) especially as he doesn't speak for the council and his views are, legally at least, irrelevant.

It's true that much of the footpath has been stopped up, but neither the Ramblers nor Anchorside Close residents objected to stopping up those sections as they run so very close to other adopted rights-of way (in some case just a few centimetres) and so were clearly unnecessary (necessity being the legal test). This is why the council had to pay all costs. Had it been only a partial victory, the costs would have been divided.

The £100,000+ cost of clearance and repair so often touted has never been justified and includes the newly stopped-up sections. That might have required partial demolition of the Chorlton Park flats (aka the Urban Splash). It also forgets that unlawful obstructions must be removed by the landowners at the landowners' expense, not the council's. This is because the landowners should never have encroached on the footpath in the first place. The legal action to remove those obstructions has already begun.

The Ramblers and local residents have offered volunteers to help with clearance once those obstructions have gone. Keeping the path as natural as possible (e.g. no lighting or hard surfacing) will also keep the cost down. We on Anchorside Close removed and chipped many trees, several of which were mature, from both sides of the brook a little while ago for just £2k.

The only big ticket item is the retaining wall. This may not be in as bad a state as initially feared. But if it is in danger of collapsing into the brook, it needs to be dealt with regardless. If it were to collapse the gardens it's retaining would end up in the brook too.
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bufty1
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:48 pm

Re: Footpath 181

Postby bufty1 » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:20 pm

Yawn - who gives a shit? I wonder if the chappy who lives on the cul de sac and in support of the path will change his tune when a load of skanks hang around by his house....

Richard_H
Posts: 329
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:52 pm

Re: Footpath 181

Postby Richard_H » Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:08 pm

If it leads to a local increase in crime, people will give a shit.

belperfury
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 11:15 am
Location: Chorlton

Re: Footpath 181

Postby belperfury » Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:29 am

stephennewton wrote:The only big ticket item is the retaining wall. This may not be in as bad a state as initially feared. But if it is in danger of collapsing into the brook, it needs to be dealt with regardless. If it were to collapse the gardens it's retaining would end up in the brook too.


of course, if the path and retaining wall were left undisturbed, the bank could potentially hold out another 50-100 years. plus, it's collapse would present no danger to the public.

however, if the path is go to ahead along that route the bank will have to be replaced before it can be used.

it has large cracks, bulges and missing bricks across its length. even ignoring the additional damage which will inevitably occur with the removal of the mature trees running along the tops of it, no civil/structural engineer is going to be able to guarantee it's integrity for the public to safely walk along the top of it even if the risk of collapse is relatively small.

it is going to cost a pretty penny...

lister
Posts: 154
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:56 pm

Re: Footpath 181

Postby lister » Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:19 am

Not necessarily, tied in gabion baskets would likely suffice there, fairly low cost - doesn't really require a civil/structural or otherwise, any experienced contractor can just overengineer as the scale is so small- I'd estimate <£5000

It's a pretty rubbish argument against it to be honest - the council had a duty of care there, they wouldn't allow you to get your land into the same state of disrepair- and in any event, they should have had a quick think about the risk of losing their case - that £40k would've gone a long way.... and the continued maintainance of the wall would have saved money.

Leech and Chamberlain seemed right behind the idea until it didn't work, and now they're gleefully bashing the council, I'd hate to see the state of affairs we'd get into with the lib dems in council - no doubt we'd have much of the budget spent on big advdertising campains where leech and chamberlain look mournfully at piles of rubbish or blocked drains...

Stanley
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Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Chorlton

Re: Footpath 181

Postby Stanley » Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:37 am

I wonder why the Lib Dems have had such a change of mind. It must be that they've just looked at the whole story and realised they were wrong before.

If this were a fictional tale of intrigue and NIMBYism, the conspiracy theory would be the location of the most vociferous councillor's house...or that of his family or something.

It's obviously not that in reality though.
Keep an open mind...but not so open that your brain falls out.

belperfury
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 11:15 am
Location: Chorlton

Re: Footpath 181

Postby belperfury » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:23 am

it's hardly a crime to change opinion on a matter on the basis of new evidence. in fact, it's the process by which society moves forward.

at this time, the council want it stopped up, as do all councillors (regardless of political party), as do the police, as do the majority of the local community. who cares what individuals from those groups may have thought in the past?

imho, the council were probably a bit naive when they went to court and expected an open and shut case with little cost to anyone.

however, had the ramblers association and stephen newton not contested it, then the path would now be closed with minimal court costs and no costs to reopen the path. this is what they planned to happen with, on the face of it, the best approach to avoid unnecessary budget spend and provide the preferred outcome for the local community.

Stanley
Posts: 1612
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2007 1:31 pm
Location: Chorlton

Re: Footpath 181

Postby Stanley » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:34 am

belperfury wrote:it's hardly a crime to change opinion on a matter on the basis of new evidence. in fact, it's the process by which society moves forward.


Indeed. I could not agree more.
Keep an open mind...but not so open that your brain falls out.

stephennewton
Posts: 152
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Location: Anchorside Close, M21 8AR
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Re: Footpath 181

Postby stephennewton » Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:18 am

Belperfury obviously has access to information regarding the wall that nobody else has, that justifies the claim it would hold for another 50-100 years if undisturbed. But even so, if it collapses it takes gardens with it, which is clearly a danger to those who use those gardens. Many have extended their gardens to the brookside and allow their children to play on top of the wall. So I suspect it's not as bad as all that.

While I'm the only person from the objectors who can be bothered to post on here, I'm certainly not the only objector. I wasn't a party to the case, although I gave evidence and attended as a director of the Anchorside Close management company which had been instructed to object by residents (only one of whom objected). We ensured that there were two people from Anchorside Close in attendance at court throughout the three day hearing. The court heard from witnesses who first raised the issue of this footpath in 1963 and could name others who had raised it before that. So Belberfury's assertion that it could easily have been stopped up years ago is nonsense. Had the stopping up been advertised years ago, these people would have objected then and we cannot know who else might have responded to an advert placed years ago.

Belperfury points out that the Ramblers paid for a specialist barrister, as if this is underhand. Of course he is a specialist. The council's barrister also specialises in this area of law and both barristers came from the same chambers, often working together (not this time, obviously!) on cases like this. The council put together the best case it could. It assured the court that it had not considered cost, because it would be unlawful to close a footpath to save money, while objectors submitted evidence that it had (including Lib Dem and Labour leaflets, letters and emails). The council produced maps and pretty charts to try and show alternative routes. It brought in expert witnesses from whom it had commissioned reports. No expense was spared.

This wasn't like an episode of Ally McBeal, where a clever lawyer makes a bizarre, novel, but compelling argument that persuades the court to interpret the law in a new and unexpected way. It was all very straightforward.

belperfury
Posts: 61
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 11:15 am
Location: Chorlton

Re: Footpath 181

Postby belperfury » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:00 pm

i disagree with you on this, think you're misinterpreting my comments and could argue the toss on your points.

however, i think for the sake of everyone else on this forum, i'll have to give this a miss for now...

freeguitarlesson
Posts: 767
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:58 pm

Re: Footpath 181

Postby freeguitarlesson » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:10 pm

Having only seen a pretty poorly drawn out map of the footpath; will this allow access through the Urban Splash development on the corner of Barlow Moor Road and Cundiffe Road? It's currently blocked off by a locked gate that seems to lead into the development's communal area...
"Your optimism strikes me like junk mail addressed to the dead..."

stephennewton
Posts: 152
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Location: Anchorside Close, M21 8AR
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Re: Footpath 181

Postby stephennewton » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:24 pm

Frrguitarlesson: The section running by the Urban Splash has been extinguished.

Belperfury: I don't think I've misinterpreted anything you said.Certainly not my intention and pointless given that anyone can see what you've written. But I do agree that there's little point going over it all again and again. But if you do have anything that supports your assertions around the wall, please do share. You can send me a private message if you like.


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