To consider the report of the Senior Manager, Planning Service, Environment and Public Protection
a) Submitted - the report of the Senior Planning Service Manager requesting that the Committee approved a proposal to prepare a Section 26 Creation Order to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for a decision should the Council receive an objection to the order that could not be resolved. It was noted that Local Authorities had discretion under Section 26 of the Highways Act 1980 to prepare a Creation Order if they considered that a footpath was required in a designated area.
The Coast Path Project Officer reported that a number of discussions had been held with the current landowner regarding adopting a piece of land for public right of way through the Marina area over nearly eight years. It was explained that circumstances and the complexities of the ownership of the property had meant that the process to date had been slow and very frustrating at times. The Coast Path scheme was now close to reaching its completion, with the exception of this 8m piece of land.
The wish was to seek to ensure public right of way by agreement; however, as an agreement had not been reached, despite all the efforts, the option now was to follow the S26 order procedure in order to proceed to complete the Coast Path.
It was noted that the proposal was supported by Natural Resources Wales as it was a key part of the National Coast Path and funding had been allocated to undertake the necessary work to create the footpath. Completing the footpath would bring significant advantages in terms of providing an attractive, safe and convenient link for users of the Coast Path as well as benefits in terms of leisure and enjoyment for the local community which would include parents with prams, wheelchair users etc.
b) The local member (who was not a member of this Planning Committee) made the following observations:
· That the scheme was very complex and that many obstacles had been overcome along the journey
· That officers had been working very hard to secure the Coast Path
· That locating the Coast Path near the coast was an asset and would be of economic benefit to Felinheli and Bangor. It was noted that several small businesses had opened in the Dock area and that completing the public footpath would be a further boost to the local economy.
· Creating an Order was the best option to move on
· An alternative option had been considered but was not suitable in terms of road safety
· Supportive of the application and asked for the Committee's support to the order
c) It was proposed and seconded to approve the Section 26 Creation Order in accordance with the planning officers’ recommendation.
ch) During the ensuing discussion the following points were highlighted by individual members:
· Supportive of the work and needed to reach an agreement in order to complete the footpath
· The Coast Path was important in order to promote tourism in the area
· Welcomed the development
· To submit a Section 26 Creation Order in order to ensure public access over 8m of land that is in the ownership of the Plas Port Dinorwic Hotel, Felinheli.
· Should an objection be received which is not withdrawn, that the Council submits it to the Planning Inspectorate for a decision.