MLAF - Medway Local Access Forum

                                                           Meeting on 2nd March 2017

 

Medway Local Access Forum

Minutes of the Meeting held on Thursday 2nd March 2017

Meeting Room G, Clock Tower Buildings, Strood, Kent

 

Item

Main Meeting

Action

 

Su Ormes (SO)                      Chair

Graham Jenkinson (GJ)         The Ramblers

Richard Whitebread (RW)       NFU

Adam Taylor (AT)                    Public Rights of Way

Martin Hall     (MH)                  Greenspace Development Manager

Ian Gray         (IG)                   Cuxton Countryside Group

Councillor Andy Stamp

Maggie Coleman                     Open Spaces Society

1

Welcome to guests, members and officers

SO welcomed everyone to the meeting.

 

2

Apologies

Karen Tamsett, Annmarie Behn

 

3

Minutes of last meeting

MH – Friends of Berengrave, boardwalk to be improved

RW – previous article/presentation of exploring PRoWs in Medway and impact of crop stealing/damaging to be published in NFU magazine

 

 

 

4

Graeme Quninnell England Coastal Path (ECP) Presentation

GQ – lead Natural England Officer for creation of ECP through Medway, to submit report of route recommendations with landowner representations September 2017.

Iwade to Grain section

Route to follow existing Saxon Shore Way through Gillingham and include St Marys Island to provide formal, public access to Finsbourgh Down.

Landowner liability of path is minimal to provide incentive, no access via Dock Yard owing to direct financial impact.

Route via Upnor beach, MH asked if route through SSSI at Cookham Fort would be considered, GQ explained landscape undulating and not feasible with existing funding. GQ explained alternative path to Upnor beach available at high tide via Saxon Shore Way at Church Farm, Hoo.GQ explained access land to seaward side of ECP, MH will look at Green Infrastructure funding through S106/developer contributions.

SO asked when ECP through Medway is to be completed – GQ

Autumn 2018.

IG asked if path via Medway Tunnel had been considered, GQ explained cost impact made this unfeasible in addition to legal access and route being unappealing owing to environmental risks.

MH asked if route could be included around Gun Wharf offices, AT explained public access is restricted, subway at Dock Rd near Dockyard would be 1 crossing point to Kitchener Barracks.

MH highlighted area is for redevelopment and suggested alternative route.

GQ clarified route will pass the Command House. IG asked if access would continue to Staples near Rats Bay, SO confirmed path improvements have already been made at this location. Councillor Stamp highlighted the need for environmental improvements where possible when creating the ECP.

GQ confirmed Natural England would only be funding signage and minor improvement works.

MH offered to assist in securing funding from Berkely Homes to improve the ECP at Gillingham Gate/Chatham Water.

GJ asked if ECP at Upnor beach is sustainable, GQ stated beach path will remain for 20+ years as advised by Environment Agency. GQ explained route of ECP at Kingsnorth will follow Eschol Rd and through new industrial estate to the north east of Kingsnorth power station opening up an area of coast previously out of bounds. MH asked if this the landowner had any issue with access here, GQ route likely to proceed in this area.

GQ describe ECP at Grain to cross railway at Grain bridge, explained £120k for new footway at entrance to Grain wasn’t feasible, NE only able to offer a percentage towards the cost, AT confirmed Medway will not match fund. GQ stated the team were gauging interest in access at Grain by existing routes.

GQ explained route being considered through Yantlet marshes, previously out of bounds owing to being MOD land, MH expressed concern this area should remain excluded to public owing to area being a Strategic Access Management Scheme (SAMS). GQ mentioned the London Stone being a point of interest and Yantlet Marshes could become accepted land seaward to the ECP in this area.

Grain  - Gravesend section

GQ explained route here follows existing PRoWs, section at Dagnam Marshes vulnerable to high tide, asked for advice from LAF as to best route. SO suggested MD as a point of contact for local knowledge/landowners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MH

5

Action Plan

RS206 - IG informed LAF Port Medway Marina continue to pressure Network Rail to construct diverted path.

MH – Reed Common moving forward with creation of Friends of Reed Common to facilitate improvement

AT to contact Sue Saunders to progress proposed creation of circular bridleway at Cliffe Pools, MH to meet at Stoke to discuss improvements MH to send details.

RC75 – AT seeking info of horse stiles from KAMBIT to begin improvements.

PRoW Officers update/Matters Arising

RS44 Improvements – new surfacing of tarmac completed with joint working with High Halstow Parish Council

RS75 – KamBit (equestrian charity), agreed to contribute funding for upgrading footpath to bridleway. AT to arrange site visit and agree

 

 

 

 

 

AT

 

 

 

AT

15

AOB

IG raised issue of walking on grass verge at Bush Rd, Cuxton, suggested Permissive Path be created with landowner consent, AT advised IG to make formal request vis Cuxton Countryside Group and Parish Council, but owing to a revised PRoW budget for 2017/18, drafting an agreement would carry a cost.

 

 

AT

 

SO closed the meeting and thanked everyone for attending.

 

 

The Forum’s next main meeting will be held on Thursday 1st June 4 pm with a pre-meeting for members at 3:30 pm in Conference Room G, Annexe B, Clock Tower Buildings, Strood.

 

 

                                                              1st December Meeting 2016

 

Medway Local Access Forum

Minutes of the Meeting held on Thursday 1 December 2016

Meeting Room G, Clock Tower Buildings, Strood, Kent

 

Item

Main Meeting

 

 

Su Ormes (SO)                      Chair

Cllr Michael Dale (MD)           St James IOG Parish Council

Graham Jenkinson (GJ)        The Ramblers

Richard Whitebread (RW)      NFU

Chris Morris (CM)                   Medway Towns Footpath Group

Sue Saunders (SS)                British Horse Society

Adam Taylor (AT)                   Public Rights of Way

Martin Hall     (MH)                 Greenspace Development Manager

Rita Hunt       (RH)                 

Ian Gray         (IG)                   Cuxton Countryside group    

1

Welcome to guests, members and officers

SO welcomed everyone to the meeting.

 

2

Apologies

Karen Tamsett, Maggie Coleman, Keith Greenfield, Annmarie Behn

 

3

Minutes of last meeting

SO discussed possibility of LAF fund raising for projects, MH agreed to provide guidance and gave examples of bids e.g. Broomhill, Luton Green, and funding streams from Ward Improvement Fund and Open Space Improvement. MH highlighted importance of identifying s106 funding.

Action – SO to seek info on other LAFs raising money

MH informed Friends of Berengrave had difficulties with boardwalk improvements left with 3 options; closure, piecemeal repairs or complete repair, MH to update at next meeting.

MH gave update on SAMMS Strategic Access Management Monitoring Scheme members include Cllr Doe and Alan Jarrett as chair, plan to be presented Spring 2018.

Thank you to Annmarie for minutes

 

4

Presentation by Richard Whitebread

Extensive walker of 15 miles a day, exploring PRoW network including route of new coastal access path. Highlighted concerns of farmers; fly tipping, littering, dog fouling, vehicle access issues, trespass, damage to signage, pilfering of crops and misunderstanding of ‘right to roam’.

Discussed issues with advertising walking on crops RH suggested Peninsula Times could assist.

 

5

Action Plan/ Matters Arising

Discussed access issues which could be added to the LAF action plan, agreed to include; progress target of re-opening of RS201

January 2017, upgrade bridleways at Spendiff, Cliffe Pools upgrade of existing footpaths to bridleways.

RS44 Improvements – new surfacing of tarmac completed with joint working with High Halstow Parish Council

 

RS75 – KamBit (equestrian charity), agreed to contribute funding for upgrading footpath to bridleway. AT to arrange site visit and agree funding for vegetation clearance, signage and horse stiles.

 

Cliffe Pool – AT to arrange site visit with SS and discuss route and furniture of potential equestrian links

 

Street Farm – Development to proceed, bridleway to be preserved with vehicle restrictions. AT to seek S106 funding to link existing bridleways and provision of equestrian gate. MH looking to include LAF in local plan consultations and ensure rural views are preserved.

 

Grain footpaths – AB to inspect potential routes and discuss feasibility with MD

 

RS201 – AT stated diversion is progressing and on target for opening Jan 2017

 

RS206 – Diversion works progressing, Port Medway Marina are waiting for Network Rail to consent new route of path.

 

RC27 & RC29 – RC29 gated to off road vehicles, plan to upgrade and reinstate key sections in 2017 with potential funding from Local Development Transport budget.

 

GB12 & GB13 – Potential funding from improvements via s106

 

England Coastal Path project – AT highlighted potential issue to link route of England Coastal Path with Grain. 2 routes identified; route 1 – cross railway at entrance of Grain on A228 – Network Rail refuse level crossing, suggested footbridge at cost of £500k Medway Council to be responsible for ongoing maintenance. Route 2, construct 335M footway parallel to A228. Natural England to offer funding contribution, AT thanked MH for assistance in applying for funding, AT described challenges of obtaining funding and seeking support for England Coastal Path project in general. GJ offered to highlight importance of England Coastal Path through correspondence details to be discussed at next meeting. MD to provide contact details of Grain instillations e.g. Britned, E.on etc

 

Capstone – SS spoken with Nigel Holman

 

Church Hill Cuxton – Resolved, land usage to remain

 

Cycling Path Signage – CM praised MH for  additional fly tipping signage at Gillingham Business Park

 

 

15

AOB

 

SS Highlighted Peters Bridge at Wouldham as a potential for bridleway link. AT to investigate and liaise with KCC.

 

 

    AT

 

SO closed the meeting and thanked everyone for attending.

 

 

 

 

The Forum’s next main meeting will be held on Thursday 4th March 2017 at 4 pm with a pre-meeting for members at 3:30 pm in Conference Room G, Annexe B, Clock Tower Buildings, Strood.

 

December title

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                                                         Meeting of 1st September 2016

 

Medway Local Access Forum

Minutes of the Meeting held on Thursday 1 September 2016 at 4.00pm

Meeting Room G, Clock Tower Buildings, Strood, Kent

 

Item

Main Meeting

Action

 

Su Ormes (SO)                       Chair

Annmarie Behn (AB)               Public Rights of Way

Cllr Michael Dale (MD)            St James IOG Parish Council

Graham Jenkinson (GJ)         The Ramblers

Richard Whitebread (RW)       NFU

Chris Morris (CM)                    Medway Towns Footpath Group

Sue Saunders (SS)                  British Horse Society

Adam Taylor (AT)                     Public Rights of Way

Martin Hall                               Greenspace Development Manager

 

1

Welcome to guests, members and officers

SO welcomed everyone to the meeting.

 

2

Apologies

Karen Tamsett, Cllr Stamp, Rita Hunt, Dave Harris, Ian Gray, Maggie Coleman

 

3

Minutes of last meeting

The Minutes of the last meeting were amended at item 2 to add Richard Whitebread to Apologies. They were then signed off.

 

 

4

Lets talk about Spaces and Places

MH gave a presentation on Lets Talk which is looking at 6 areas of Medway  and encouraging people to think of ideas for their area with regard to planning and green space. Bids are then  submitted to funding parties such as the Coastal Community Fund, DfT and Tesco to deliver projects. MH is hoping to feed into the Local Plan and PROW improvements.

Lets Talk Gillingham has already had one meeting, looking at the Strand and Hillyfields.

Lets Talk Rochester is looking at the Esplanade, Temple Marsh and Temple Manor.

SS asked if any funding received could be used for the maintenance and or improvement of existing paths in the areas looked at. MH advised that enhancements could be made but not maintenance.

CM questioned the fact that money could be used to enhance but not maintain paths when the PROW budget is so insufficient. MH replied that he hoped these projects will raise the profile of PROW which then may raise the maintenance budget.

GJ suggested the bids include maintenance money because there is no point opening new paths if we can’t maintain them.

SO closed this line of questioning with the resolve that the LAF will  ask further questions about PROW funding.

CM asked MH about the future of Berengrave Reserve as the ‘Friends’ group has disbanded and the site is no longer maintained. MH explained that Richard Hicks has asked him to provide costings for bringing the area into repair. MH and SO are to speak to Nigel Holman and  Rob Reed to see what progress has been made.

MH also advised the LAF that he may resurrect the walking festival in future years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAF

 

 

 

 

MH

SO

5

Matters Arising

Lodge Hill MC/11/2516

The Public Inquiry has been postponed until 2018. 

RS201 Halling

AT reported that he and AB would be attending another site meeting shortly. Work was progressing and the path would hopefully be opened in early 2017.

Gibraltar Farm – Nothing new to report.

Spendiff Farm

RW advised that the 2 PROW are muddy at the ends and suggests a sign be erected saying they are unsuitable for horses at the moment.

AT advised that this could be done but not enforced.

There is an ambition to upgrade the prow’s to bridleways and the concept has been agreed by one of the 2 landowners. The MOD need to be chased and the moratorium has meant little progress has been made regarding the upgrade. SS advised that CAMBIT were able to help with the legal costs.

Cuxton RS206  

IG was not present to give an update on his findings. AB advised that she would speak to Port Medway Marina and report back with an update.

Cliffe Pools

SS is working with the RSPB to move horses off the middle path by joining up the outer two paths at the dead ends.

MH suggested setting up a meeting to discuss all access at Cliffe Pools and SS  to set up with MH and AT/AB attending.

Coastal Path

2020 is the target date for completion of the coastal path around Medway. The path is straight forward from Iwade to Grain, with a new stretch of path around Kingsnorth hoped. MD expressed a concern about some of the landowners on the peninsular stretch of the path but AT advised that the legislation will force the path through.

Street Farm

No update.

RC 27 and 29 Bridleways at Lordswood Leisure Park

SS asked if the bridleways have been cleared. AT advised that he has been speaking with contractors but said we have to stagger the work we do as our budget is so small. LTP money has reduced from £32,000 to £20,000 with £13000 ring fenced for the RS44  leaving £7000 remaining this year. AT explained that KCC do speak to us about cross boundary ways but Medway do not have the money to improve our side.

Moore Street GB12 and GB13

Ongoing.

Land Registry Easement on Church Hill

IG dealing with, to update at the next meeting.

Grain Footpaths

MD advised that the footpath on top of the fort and others in the maze are nearly finished. MD and AB will meet on site to look at the paths and consider their formalisation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AT

 

 

 

 

AB

 

 

 

SS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

MD

 

 

6

Medway Swale Estuary Partnership

No update.

 

7

Medway Matters – Walkers on crops

This article is to be printed in the Peninsula Times. RH did complain to Medway Matters about the size of the article they printed. SO suggested the LAF compile a self promotion article for Medway Matters and then perhaps incorporate the walkers on crops into that article, using a slightly different approach.

 

 

LAF

8

PROW Improvement Plan

Item to be carried forward.

 

 

 

9

Rede Common

No update.

 

10

Local Plan

SO had already updated the forum on this. MC are looking at all the development plans and ideas that have come in and seeking spatial opportunities and also projecting costs of future maintenance before drafting the plan.

MH is dealing with the green infrastructure, SO dealing with the health side of the plan. MH is also dealing with the Ward Improvement Plans.

 

 

 

11

KNP Annual Conference Report

SS to write up a summary of the meeting and circulate it.

 

SS

 

12

Annual Review

SS is typing the review and will circulate once completed. It was suggested that the review form the basis of the Medway Matters article.

 

 

SS

13

 

Funding for PROW 2016/7

The budget is £10,000 to cover all maintenance on all paths. Volunteers are heavily relied upon. AT advised he is looking at seeking help from the prison service as certain low risk prisoners can help. The prison service is a separate entity to the Probation Service, which has been privatised.

 

14

 

New LAF Chair and Secretary

Su Ormes has been appointed the chair of the LAF. The position of secretary has been delayed by the moratorium. In the meantime Highways will take the minutes of the meetings.

 

15

AOB

SS asked Martin Hall about the future surfacing of the RC25 as road stone may not be suitable for horses. SS to email MH, who will pass the mail onto Nigel Holman. SS suggested half the track is surfaced and half left unmade.

SS reported that the equestrians and walkers around Capstone Farm are in dispute again. AT and SS will speak with Nigel Holman about this issue.

MD informed the forum that he will be leading another 5 mile walk in Grain in the near future. He is also being requested to undertake presentations on Grain Coastal Park. He has raised over £300 so far from these activities.

MH spoke about the Strategic Access Estuary Monitoring Scheme which has been set up to deal with increased access to the coast, due to more development within 6km of the coast.

£223.58 is to be paid to this scheme per house built and will be used to manage and inform the public about the coast. £350,000 -£400,000 will be accrued each year and will pay to employ people and produce literature. The scheme will run in perpetuity  with an endowment to maintain the scheme in the future.

SS advised that RH sends her regards to the forum and hopes to be present at the December meeting.

AT thanked SO for taking up the reins as chair.

SO suggested that the forum mid meetings cease with immediate effect as they are poorly attended. The Chair and Vice Chair would prepare and circulate the agenda on everyone’s behalf. This motion was agreed.

SO asked AB to cancel the future room bookings for the mid meeting.

 

 

SS

 

AT

SS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

 

SO closed the meeting and thanked everyone for attending.

 

 

The Forum’s next main meeting will be held on Thursday 1 December 2016 at 4 pm with a pre-meeting for members at 3:30 pm in Conference Room G, Annexe B, Clock Tower Buildings, Strood.

 

 

                                                                Meeting of 6th June 2016

 

Medway Local Access Forum

Minutes of the Meeting held on Thursday 2 June 2016 at 4.00pm

Meeting Room G, Clock Tower Buildings, Strood, Kent

 

Item

Main Meeting

Action

 

Rita Hunt                                 Chair

Annmarie Behn (AB)               Public Rights of Way

Cllr Michael Dale (MD)            St James IOG Parish Council

Graham Jenkinson (GJ)          The Ramblers

Maggie Coleman (MC)            Open Spaces Society

Chris Morris (CM)                    Medway Towns Footpath Group

Ian Gray (IG)                           Cuxton Countryside Group

Sue Saunders (SS)                  British Horse Society

Cllr Andy Stamp (AS)               Medway Council

Karen Tamsett (KT)                  Senior Engineer Highways Management, Finance and Asset Management

Adam Taylor (AT)                     Public Rights of Way

 

1

Welcome to guests, members and officers

RH welcomed everyone to the meeting.

 

2

Apologies

Karen Tamsett, Cllr Stamp, Cllr Ives, Sue Ormes       

 

3

Minutes of last meeting

The Minutes of the last meeting were amended at item 4 to show ‘user initiatives’ rather than ‘walker initiatives’ and at  item 15 to show  ‘no costs’  for the KNP annual conference. They were then signed off.

 

 

4

Matters arising

Lodge Hill MC/11/2516

The Public Inquiry has been postponed until 2018.  This item will be kept on the agenda.

RS201 Halling

AT reported that he and AB had attended a site meeting. Work was progressing and the path would hopefully be opened in early 2017. He will send photos to show the works in progress. 

Gibraltar Farm – Nothing new to report.

Spendiff Farm

AT advised that his contact with CAMBIT had been minimal. He was speaking to a contractor about clearing vegetation and looking for costings to give to CAMBIT for lopping trees etc.

SS had inspected the crumb path and reported it was ok.

Cuxton RS206

IG reported that he had 5 names for Network Rail as they are the delaying point of the  creation of the diverted path. Once the diverted path has been created, the next stretch can be looked at.

Cliffe Pools

SS reported that this was ongoing and is talking to them. They are to have a planning meeting shortly and SS will report back at the next meeting. 

RS112 at Hoo

AB reported that the final manhole had at last been covered. This item can be removed from the agenda.

Grain/Allhallows Footpath / Coastal Path

AT advised that the stretch of path between Iwade and Grain is being addressed this year and the stretch from Grain to Gravesend in 2018.

NE want to build sea defences around the Grain oil refinery at some point  and  AT hopes it will help join up the paths.

MD advised that MC might want to speak to the owners of the ballast pit – AT said he would look at this when the coastal path reaches this area.

Street Farm

SS has checked the site and kept a watch for planning applications, but everything has gone quiet. She asked that should the planning go through, could the 2 severed bridleways be joined up. AT advised that the cost of this would be £150,000 and the Church Commissioners do not want a bridleway on their land.

RC 27 and 29 Bridleways at Lordswood Leisure Park

SS asked if the bridleways have been cleared. AT advised that he has been speaking with contractors but said we have to stagger the work we do as our budget is so small. LTP money has reduced from 32,000 to 7000 this year. AT explained that KCC do speak to us about cross boundary ways but Medway do not have the money to improve our side.

Moore Street GB12 and GB13

SS informed the forum there is a petition and asked whether there would be any possibility of speed restrictions in the area. AT said he would ask Integrated Transport.

Land Registry Easement on Church Hill

IG advised that the land was used principally for grazing and that the land had been sold without access. The matter has gone to tribunal and CCG feel they are caught in the middle.

Grain Footpaths

MD advised that the footpaths coming off  the top of the fort are very steep and the PC are not happy to make the routes PROW. AB and MD to revisit and reassess a possible path.

 

 

 

 

 

 

AT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

MD

 

5

Medway/Swale Partnership

Nothing to report.

 

 

6

Temple Marsh

AB to invite someone to speak at the next meeting to advise the forum of what is happening. Mc/16/0600 is the application for reserved matters.

AB

7

Rochester Riverside/Horsewash Lane

AB explained the artisan container development that will be happening at Watermill Wharf which involves a  temporary diversion of the path to the steps.

 

 

 

8

Medway Matters - Walkers on Crops

RH to look at getting the article printed in the Peninsula times. The forum were very disappointed that the article was only allowed a few lines in Medway Matters and have asked who they need to complain to.

AB

RH

9

PROW improvement plan wish list

Item to be carried forward.

 

10

Rede Common

RH advised that the management plan is nearly complete.

 

 

11

Local Plan

RH and SS to find out when the next meeting is.

RH

SS

12

Kent Nature Partnership Annual Conference

RH and SS are attending this event on 28th June 2106

 

13

 

Annual Review

RH is currently writing the annual review, which she will forward to SS and then to MC.

RH

14

 

Funding for PROW for 2016/2017

The forum expressed their concern that the budget had remained at £10,000 and how it was not enough to maintain the paths, let alone improve them. They also expressed concern at the staff cut and will be writing to Medway Council on the matter.

RH

15

AOB

CM stated that PROW signage has improved despite the small budget. He advised that the sign by Morrisons needs attention.

RH advised that Morrisons volunteers helped out at Rede Common and wondered if PROW could tap into this resource.

The forum asked about the matter of a new secretary now that Ann had left for pastures new. AB advised that the post would be addressed but priority was being given to 2 full time positions in Highways that needed filling first. It was hoped that a new secretary would be in post over then next few months.

The forum asked if a local government officer can be chair. AB advised that although unusual, it is not stated as a negative in the LAF guidance. It is only stated that councillors cannot be chair.

IG thanked AT for the kissing gate at RS206 in Cuxton.

MC reported that there had been vandalism to the stiles on RS320.

The dates of next years meetings were discussed and the following dates diarised. AB will confirm the dates once it has been confirmed that the meeting rooms are available.

 

Main meetings

Thursday March 2nd  2017

Thursday June 1st 2017

Thursday September 7th 2017

Thursday December 7th 2017

 

Mid meetings

Tuesday 7th February 2017

Tuesday 9th May 2017

Tuesday 25th July 2017

Tuesday 7th November 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 AB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RH closed the meeting and thanked everyone for attending.

 

The Forum’s next mid-meeting will be held on Tuesday 12 July  2016 at 2 pm in conference room F, upstairs at the clock tower building, Strood.

The Forum’s next main meeting will be held on Thursday 1 September 2016 at 4 pm with a pre-meeting for members at 3:30 pm in Conference Room G, Annexe B, Clock Tower Buildings, Strood.

 

                                                              Meeting of 3rd March 2016

 

Medway Local Access Forum

Minutes of Meeting held on Thursday 3 March 2016 at 4pm

Meeting Room G, Clock Tower Building, Strood, Kent

Item

Main Meeting

 

 

Rita Hunt                                            Chair

Cllr Michael Dale (MD)                       St James IOG Parish Council

Chris Morris (CM)                               Medway Towns Footpath Group

Su Ormes (SO)                                   Public Health

Sue Saunders (SS)                             British Horse Society

Richard Whitebread (RW)                  NFU

Adam Taylor (AT)                               Public Rights of Way

Karen Tamsett (KT)                            Highways Management, Finance & Assets

Martin Hall (MH)                                 Greenspace Development Manager

1

Welcome to guest, members and officers

RH welcomed everyone to the meeting and gave a special welcome to Martin Hall.  Thanks were also expressed to Ann Pywell, in recognition of all the hard work she has done since being Secretary to the LAF.

 

2

Apologies

Cllr Steve Iles

Ian Gray

Annmarie Behn

 

3

Minutes of last meeting

The minutes of the last meeting were approved.

 

4

Presentation by Martin Hall

MH gave an overview of his role and briefly described his role in dealing with applications and Local Plan issues, as well as his involvement with the Medway/Swale Estuary Partnership.

A current project MH is working on involves identifying land which can be utilised for cycling, funded from the Local Growth Fund, which is supported by Members and RCET’S Director, Richard Hicks.  The task is to identify strategic greenspace and green corridors that could potentially form a recreational cycling routes, for both experienced and novice cyclists.  The project is currently information gathering at present, talking to lots of different focus groups and identifying potential routes.

MH would like to come back at a later date to update the LAF on progress and also listen to any ideas members of the group have.

Joined up working an utilising the existing public rights of way network was voiced as a preference where possible, together with the need to ensure that any shared routes are safe.  CW expressed his disappointment that with budget cuts to public rights of way, it seems unfair that there is money available for cycling instead of other user  initiatives.

 

5

Matters arising

Lodge Hill MC/11/2516

This has been moved back to 2018.

RS201 Halling

AT reported that there is no further update, but assurance was given that the developer wants to footpath opened as soon as is practically possible, but for now a shorter alternative route is available.

Gibralter Farm

This application has been refused.  Awaiting next steps.

Spendiff Farm

In respect of funding, the landowner has agreed to upgrade, so this will be progressed.

RS206 Cuxton

An informal meeting with the Parish Council and Network Rail has taken place to see why the diversion of this footpath is taking so long.  MH suggested that the LAF write to Network Rail to express their dissatisfaction over the time that has elapsed.  RH confirmed the LAF would forward a letter to Network Rail.

Cliffe Pools

Remains ongoing.

Temple Marsh

The future development of Temple Marsh was discussed.  MH reported that he had a meeting with Property Services as there were concerns that there was not enough money available to cover the masterplan for this potential development.  KCC ecologist/conservation team and Medway Council are working together to ensure local wildlife, protected species and walking/access is maintained on this site.  MH will be able to report further on this when he attends the next meeting.

RS112 Hoo

Still no update – AB to chase again.

Grain/Allhallows Footpath

It is hoped that this will be included in the Coastal Access path being progressed by Natural England.

Medway Slipway

Currently sitting with Bob Diamond for costing, but likely there is no funding for this.  MH has met with Cllrs Stamp and Cooper as part of the Strand Overview, but no decision yet made on whether the area will be improved.

Street Farm

No further news.

RC27 & RC29 Bridleways at Lordswood Leisure Park

Despite investment in installing gates, they have not stopped the problems being encountered.  With a moratorium currently in place, there is no funding to do anything else at this location.  SS requested the area be cut back, which AT will address.

Petition at Moore Street GB12 and GB13

SS still on this, but no update at present.

Land Registry Easement on Church Hill

There is currently a stand-off at present as it appears the new owner has been misinformed.

RS44 at High Halstow

New signs and new surface now in.  Hopefully when funding permits, it can be tarmacked.

Grain Footpaths – Foreshore and Forts

MD explained about the steep gradient and therefore the Parish Council are not keen on creating in this area due to the risk of falling.  MD will speak with AB about altering the existing route to link in with the Cuckoo Path. Natural England are looking at creating a path on site near the Scheduled Monument, therefore the only cost implication is likely to be legal fees.

 

6

Chair and Vice Chair of Medway Local Access Forum

RH indicated that she would like to step down as Chair at the next election.  AB will throw it open to new people and guide them as much as she can.  SO enquired whether she could be Chair – AB to investigate.

 

7

Medway/Swale Estuary Partnership

ML has liaised with SS and will keep her advised of up and coming projects.

 

8

Huddle

Nothing new to report.

 

9

Rochester Riverside/Horsewash Lane

No movement as yet despite reassurances that there would be.

 

10

Medway Matters – Walkers on Crops

KT advised that she had been given assurances it would be in the next edition.  Await to see if this is the case.

 

11

PROW Improvement Plan Wish List

KT advised that at present, it is unclear as to who will be drafting the new PROW Improvement Plan as previously this was done by Integrated Transport and not Highways.

 

12

Rede Common Nature Reserve

RH reported that she has spoken with Nigel Holman who has advised that the Plan is almost completed – just need to go to Cabinet and Natural England for approval. RH expressed concern about potentially losing vital areas and MH gave reassurance that they have to be retained as part of Policy.

 

13

Medway Council Local Plan 2012-2035

Covers a vast area of factors for consideration.  Update in due course.

 

14

Lower Thames Crossing Route Consultation 2016

Discussion on this ensued, with some concerns raised on the impact traffic will add to Blue Bell Hill.

 

15

Kent Nature Partnership Annual Conference – 28 June 2016

There is no cost for attendance .

 

16

Any Other Business

A vote of thanks was expressed to RH for all her hard work as Chair.

SS will continue to check planning applications and circulate these amongst the group.

SO enquired whether any LAF members have looked at Slough Fort near Allhallows – all stated this was not something they were aware of.

 

 

RH closed the meeting and thanked everyone for attending.

 

The Forum’s next meeting is scheduled for Thursday 2 June 2016 at 4pm with a pre-meeting for members at 3.30pm in Conference Room G, Annexe B, Clock Tower Building, Strood

                                                       Meeting of 3rd December 2015

 

Medway Local Access Forum

Minutes of the Meeting held on Thursday 3 December 2015 at 4.00pm

Meeting Room G, Clock Tower Buildings, Strood, Kent

 

Item

Main Meeting

 

 

Rita Hunt                                  Chair

Annmarie Behn (AB)                Highways Management Technician, Legal,                                                  Adoptions

Maggie Coleman (MC)             Opens Spaces Society

Ian Gray                                   Cuxton Countryside Group

Cllr Michael Dale (MD)             St James IOG Parish Council

Chris Morris (CM)                     Medway Towns Footpath Group

Su Ormes (SO)                         Public Health

Sue Saunders (SS)                   British Horse Society

Cllr Andy Stamp (AS)                Medway Council

Adam Taylor (AT)                       Public Rights of Way

Richard Whitebread (RW)         NFU

Ann Pywell (AP)                        Secretary

1

Welcome to guests, members and officers

RH welcomed everyone to the meeting and gave a special welcome to Graeme Quinnell, Natural England.

 

2

Apologies

Cllr Steve Iles

Keith Greenfield

Graham Jenkinson

Karen Tamsett       

 

3

Minutes of last meeting

The Minutes of the last meeting were approved.

 

4

Presentation on England Coastal Trail – Iwade to Grain by Graeme Quinnell from Natural England

Graeme Quinnell gave a presentation as per attached Appendix 1.

A question and answer session followed:

CM – Who will be responsible for the path maintenance and will it be funded? GQ – Yes funds for maintenance will be given to the local authority who will be responsible for the maintenance and the funds will be ring-fenced.  RH said it would need to be made clear that these funds are only for the Coastal Trail.

The power stations are being dismantled and the path will be diverted and a new path will be created where feasible, but they may have to use roads/pavements.  There will be issues around the container area.

SS asked what surface would be used – GQ said it would be not tarmac as only have the right to create a walking path and not bridleways.  Will use ramps rather than steps to make it accessible for all levels of mobility.RW asked if GQ was aware of the Environmental Flood Management Scheme.  GQ said they are working with them and have regular meetings every four weeks and will work to align paths which may need diverting in the coming years. GQ was asked what would happen if landowners refused to have the trail on their land.  GQ said that the proposals would be well researched beforehand but in the end the Secretary of State at DEFRA could enforce the route. There will be a consultation at Stage 2.  Proposals will be on the website and objections can be made at that stage. GQ gave his email address for queries: graeme.quinnell@naturalengland.org.uk

RH thanked GQ for a very interesting and informative presentation.

 

5

Matters arising

Lodge Hill MC/11/2516

CM reported that there will be an Enquiry on 7 June 2016. This item will be kept on the agenda.

RS201 Halling

AT reported that a temporary path is being put in which is nearer the original path and should be ready by the end of January.  A map showing the route is attached as Appendix 2. 

Gibraltar Farm – AB reported that a decision has not yet been made but should hear fairly soon.

Spendiff Farm – AT reported there wasn’t any update as Cliffe Parochial Charities who own the land are unable to sell it to Medway Council as there aren’t any funds for the purchase.  There have been some motorbike issues and a stile has been put in to restrict use.  SS will speak to CAMBIT as they have funds to create a bridleway.

Cuxton RS206

IG reported that the rubbish had been moved and now have horse manure steps and is hoping to have a stile or gate put in to prevent dumping.  The Ramblers have put the diversion on the map even though it is not been completed. AB reported that Port Medway were getting a license from the Environment Agency and hope to have a licence by the spring.  IG said that Sustrans have offered money for the railings.

Cliffe Pools

SS reported that she was having a meeting after Christmas.  SS mentioned that there was an issue with the stiles being overgrown but AT was able to report that these had been cleared. 

Temple Marsh

RH raised the concern that although there had not been any planning application it appeared that Redrow had put up hoardings advertising houses for sale.  AT confirmed he had been told that no formal planning application would be submitted until January and confirmed the land was still owned by Medway Council but Redrow did own the land by the roundabout and were allowed to put in an access road to allow excavation on their site. RH asked what was being done about protecting the endangered species on the site.  AB and AT will try and find out who deals with conservancy in the planning team. MC said there was not a Conservancy Officer at Medway.  RH said that as Redrow could only excavate the site and not building yet they should not be allowed to put up signs.

RS112 at Hoo

AB reported that the double manhole is still only half done.

Grain/Allhallows Footpath

No further news on this but will be kept on the agenda.

Medway Slipway

SS said there was nothing to report but this will perhaps it will be possible to get some work done via the Coastal Trail.  This item is to stay on the agenda.

Street Farm

No further news.

RC 27 and 29 Bridleways at Lordswood Leisure Park

SS was meeting the organiser of the group.  The path up to Harrow had been done but the rest had been damaged by 4x4s where they are able to get round the gate.  SS will speak to CAMBIT to see if they can help.

Petition at Moore Street GB12 and GB13

SS said they will try for a permissive route and is having a site meeting.

Land Registry Easement on Church Hill

IG said Church Hill was an AONB but the new owner did not appreciate the meaning of that and is still pursuing the application for “all purposes”. It would appear the previous owner may have given the new owner misleading information and it may be that the application will be withdrawn until the matter is resolved.

RS44 at High Halstow

CM asked if the new signage had been put in.  AT said they had put in an order for signs for 25 paths which should go up in the New Year.

Grain Footpaths – Foreshore and Forts

MD had shown AB around the area and he would contact Peter Kendall to see if there is any difficulty in creating the footpaths.  The Parish Council have agreed.  MD reported he was trying to get permission from Natural England to put in sloping steps where the paths were very steep.  A meeting as arranged with AB in the New Year.

 

6

Medway/Swale Partnership

SS said she now had a contact in the Partnership – Mark Loos.  At the moment they are working on water quality but will contact him on access.

 

7

Huddle

Nothing new to report.

 

8

Rochester Riverside/Horsewash Lane

RH reported that the planning application for the containers had not gone in yet.  There is a TRO in place because the area by the water is dangerous.  On the Rochester side work to move the coach park has not started.  Cllr AS said the coach park will be using the Civic Centre instead as there was not enough room for it on the Rochester side.

 

9

Medway Matters - Walkers on Crops

This item has still not appeared in Medway Matters. SO will contact Communications about this. RW asked if it was because it had a negative slant.  RH said Medway Matters should have wider content and would like to know why it had not been included.  RH asked AB to ask KT to have it in the Spring issue.

 

10

CTC Campaign

Martin Hall wanted to come to the meeting to talk about cycling but as the room was too small will be asked to come to the next meeting in March.

 

11

Spendiff Farm Crumb Path

SS said the path needs maintenance.  RW said the rubber had spread.  AT will contact the payback team and ask them to do the work.

 

12

SE LAF Chairs Meeting

SS went to the meeting and said there was no coffee again.  The meeting was quite good and will produce a report to be attached as Appendix 3.

 

13

PROW Improvement Plan Wish List

As KT was unable to attend the meeting this item will be kept on the agenda.  SS said the BHS recommended putting all paths used on the wish list. AB suggested the LAF put a list together.  IG asked if permissive paths could be included.  AB said no. RW asked if the Definitive map was available in digital form. AB said there was an online map on Medway Council but it was not digitised. AT said that there was an interactive map on the KCC site which covers Medway.

 

14

Rede Common Nature Reserve

RH announced that Rede Common was being put forward as a Nature Reserve and that Capstone and Riverside Parks were also being put forward as local Nature Reserves. Sharon Bayne is putting a management plan together and hopes to have a draft ready by the Spring which will then go to Natural England for the status to be changed. They will also be putting in for improvements to paths and entrances, etc.  There are another 20 sites on the list in Medway for consideration but it is the legal aspect that costs money.

 

15

AOB

MD said that the Bumblebee Trust had found rare bee nests belonging to the Shrill Carder Bee on the Isle of Grain. A management plan was being looked at for planting wildflower meadows and matchfunding.  It was possible to move the bees to another site if there were adequate wild flowers and it may be possible to use the National Grid meadows.  RW asked how long the bees had been there.  MD said they were discovered 20 years ago and was actively improving the habitat and will be speaking to CEOs of local businesses to raise funds.  RH suggested he contacted Hadlow College for help with surveys.

IG said he saw Redrow had put in an application for the frontage of Diggerland.  AT said he had been to have a look.  RH said that John Hill had taken a look and that the buildings were not to go above two storeys.  The plans, buildings and landscaping all looked OK.

MC wanted to know if the diverted footpath was going to meet the footpath at the A228. AT said he would look into why work had stopped. MC said that Redrow had also banned vans from the site and they were parked on the streets in Halling causing  huge problems.

 

 

RH closed the meeting and thanked everyone for attending and to the Officers for providing mince pies and wished everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

 

The Forum’s next mid-meeting will be held on Tuesday 2 February 2016 in

Conference Room F, upstairs, Clock Tower Building.

The Forum’s next main meeting will be held on Thursday 3 March 2016 at 4 pm with a pre-meeting for members at 3:30 pm in Conference Room G, Annexe B, Clock Tower Buildings, Strood.

 

                                                              Meeting of March 5th 2015

Medway Local Access Forum

Minutes of the Meeting held on Thursday 5 March 2015 at 4.00pm

Meeting Room G, Clock Tower Buildings, Strood, Kent

 

Item

Main Meeting

Action

 

Rita Hunt                                Chair

Annmarie Behn (AB)              PROW Officer, Medway Council

Cllr Michael Dale (MD)           St James IOG Parish Council

Ian Gray (IG)                          Cuxton Countryside Group

Graham Jenkinson (GJ)         The Ramblers

Chris Morris (CM)                   Medway Towns Footpath Group

Karen Tamsett (KT)                Highway Management Engineer

Adam Taylor (AT)                    PROW Officer, Medway Council

Richard Whitebread (RW)       National Farmers’ Union

Ann Pywell (AP)                      Secretary

 

1

Welcome to guests, members and officers

RH welcomed everyone to the meeting and to Robert Heathfield, a member of the public, who was attending to observe.

 

2

Apologies

Sue Saunders                       

 

3

Minutes of last meeting

The Minutes of the last meeting were approved.

 

 

 

4

Public Realm Strategy Star Hill to Sun Pier

RH welcomed Martin McKay, Senior Design and Conservation Officer, to the meeting.

MM explained that the original Strategy was developed in 2004 and affected an area between Star Hill and Sun Pier which was very run down but of immense historic interest.  £1.6m had been awarded from the Heritage Lottery which had been spent to restore over 30 old buildings.  The Planning Department want to see a riverside walk and the alleyways restored and brought back into use with high quality paving.  It was important to stress that any developers would be given very specific instructions to operate within to ensure a co-ordinated approach as the development would not happen all at once and it was envisaged that several developers would be involved.  RH was very pleased to hear that there would be a riverside walk and that the alleyways would still provide access to the riverside and asked if the riverside were accessible at the moment.  MM said that the only access was via Ship Lane but only for someone who was very fit as there were quite a few obstacles.  MM stated they were in debate with English Heritage as they wanted to preserve the character of the area as much as possible but with the Environmental Board requirements for a flood wall and the need to preserve wildlife they would not be able to preserve everything.  MM said that while the buildings in the area had Victorian and Georgian facades there were interesting ramshackle buildings behind them.  He was asked if the Rochester Society were involved and they are and it had been discovered that the area had housed a very diverse population and the Synagogue is in the area due to the large Jewish population living there in the past when dockyard workers were housed there.  RH asked if the alleys were public rights of way but they are not.  Ship Lane is the only one adopted but a condition on developers will be to seek public right of way status for the alleys and riverside walk. It was asked who would maintain them once the development has been completed.  MM said the Council would maintain them by applying for Commuted Payment from the Developers which would be invested and provide funds for the future upkeep of the alleys and riverside walk. RH said the LAF would support this application and a copy of the Minutes to be sent to MM as evidence of support.  MM said he appreciated the comments he had already received from the LAF regarding CCTV which he would incorporate.  As to there being no end date he was unable to provide this information but did say that the development next to Anchorage House was nearly complete and a small part of the riverside walk had been started.  RH asked if interpretative boards could be installed to give information about the history of the area.  MM agreed. MM hoped to encourage a mixed height of buildings (but none over 5 storeys) to maintain the existing “jumbled character” of the riverside.  There were also some warehouses that have been converted which have already been rented by artists.

RH thanked MM for attending the meeting.

 

 

5

Matters arising

Lodge Hill MC/11/2516

This has gone to Government who have sent it back to Council.  It has been called in by the Secretary of State and a public enquiry will be called.  This item will be kept on the agenda.

RC29 Temporary Order

No further updates. This item to remain on future agendas.

Gibraltar Farm – Nothing new to report.

Spendiff Farm – AT has been in touch with Cliffe Woods Charitable Trust who are the owners of the land where it has been suggested to upgrade the footpaths to bridleways.  The Trust seems keen on the idea and this will be discussed at their next meeting in March.  RW said this would mean that a footpath being used to link the existing bridleways would be able to recover and be used by walkers. AT will talk to SS about funding from KaMbit (Kent and Medway bridleways trust).

Cuxton RS206

IG had received an email from the Parish Council to say that the Planning Department had removed the conditions.  AT and AB had not been contacted by Planning over this so will look into it.

Cliffe Pools

SS sent in a written report to say that she in dialogue with the RSPB who are very positive.  We may be able to work with KaMbit if it is dedicated as a bridleway which will save Medway Council money.  There will be a meeting in two weeks’ time. 

Temple Marsh

RH wanted to know who had applied to put in a road and who was going to pay for it.  AB will find out who has made the application but was able to inform the LAF that the road would be paid for by the developers.

Saxon Shore Way, Ropers Green Lane

RW said the TRO has been a success although someone has gained access further along from the locked gate and made some ruts. He has had a look at the northern end at Parbrook as it was very wet.  On inspection he found there was a drainage problem and that the ditches had become silted up and overgrown with brambles and trees which is why the water does not drain to another ditch which eventually leads to the river.  RW said they will try to open up the ditch themselves but will have to start at the lower end.  The ditches are on private land and there is a hollow where the water collects.  AT said he had a call from another farmer in the area who had received complaints about the muddy condition and he is proposing to put in drainage which should also help the situation at Parbrook.  AT will let RW and MD have details of a site meeting which they will attend.

RR9 at Frindsbury – Donkey Hill

No further updates, this will remain on the agenda.

RS112 at Hoo

AB reported there was just one more manhole to be completed.

Medway/Swale Partnership

There was no update.

Grain/Allhallows Footpath

MD reported that the Parish Council had written to Robin Cooper but had not yet received any reply.  MD has said he is going to ask the Parish Council to buy the land themselves to complete the footpath which will provide an emergency exit from the Peninsula.

Medway Slipway

SS sent in a written report to say this is now being handled by Richard Hicks who is the Officer of the Council whose remit is The Strand amongst other areas.  It will have to go before the relevant Overview and Scrutiny Committee for discussion.  A petition was presented at the last Full Council.

Street Farm

The LAF did not object to this development but would like to see a bridge and horse gate put in.  AT spoke to the Principal Planner who advised there was not enough funding for the bridge but that the horse gate will go in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AT

 

 

AT

AB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MD

 

 

 

 

SS

6

Huddle

Nothing new to report.

 

7

Core Strategy/Medway Local Plan

RH had emailed Robin Cooper as everything seems to hinge on this being developed.  KT said Kathryn Smith gave a very good overview at a recent meeting.  RH will contact her.  This item to be kept on future agendas.

 

 

 

RH

8

Rochester Riverside/Horsewash Lane

RH was due to have a site meeting in November with Kate Greenaway but this did not take place due to ill health.  RH had been informed that there was going to be a small green space in the area which would provide access to both areas.  RH had also been contacted by John Hill about the TRO which should have expired.  KT will chase for information on this.  This item is to be kept on future agendas.

 

 

 

KT

9

Walkers on Crops and Medway Matters

This item has still not appeared in Medway Matters.  KT will look into this.  RH said she was disappointed and if they did not publish the article would contact the local press.

 

KT

 

 

10

Reforming Access and Engagement Guidance

RH said that everyone had received a copy of the guidance and it seemed quite straightforward.

 

SS

 

11

SE Chairs Liaison Meeting Update

SS sent in a written report which will be attached as Appendix 1.

 

12

Salt Lane, Cliffe Pools, Ecological Development

Bretts have applied to fill in two lakes to provide habitat for wading birds and would like to use the spoil from the Thameslink Tunnel.  Bretts are liaising with the RSPB.  There were no objections.

 

13

AOB

AB advised that there will be an opening ceremony for the naming of the RR15 on Wednesday 29 April at the Ethelbert Road end of the footpath.  An invitation will be sent to the LAF with full details.

Cuts to PROW Funding

RH said she and SS had found out about the cut in funding in the Kent Messenger.  MD also said he had seen it there. This means that either AT or AB’s jobs are at risk which would make it impossible for the Council to fulfil their statutory requirements and would be illegal.  RH will write on behalf of the LAF to the Director and Portfolio Holder (Robin Cooper and Cllr Phil Filmer respectively) to protest at this cut in funding.  The LAF owed its success to the excellent work carried out by the PROW team and the working relationship between the LAF and the PROWs had been praised by Natural England.  The PROW budget has seen drastic cuts over the last couple of years, going from £65k to £35k to £10k.  RH agreed that members of the LAF could also write to the Director and Portfolio Holder from their respective groups or in a private capacity but the response from the LAF would come from the Chair.

GJ had to leave the meeting at this point to attend another meeting.

Cemex Development, Halling, RS201

This path was due to have been opened in February but work on the pipeline has not been completed.  AT advised the meeting that it could now be April but assured the LAF that Cemex were legally bound to reinstate the path.

 

AB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RH closed the meeting and thanked everyone for attending.

AT said he was pleased to see RH back after her hip operation.

 

The Forum’s next mid-meeting will be held on Tuesday 5 May 2015 at 2pm.  Please note this will now take place at Rita’s house.

 

The Forum’s next main meeting will be held on Thursday 4 June 2015 at 4 pm with a pre-meeting for members at 3:30 pm in Conference Room G, Annexe B, Clock Tower Buildings, Strood.

 

 


 

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