Agenda and minutes

Leicestershire Local Access Forum - Thursday, 9 February 2023 2.00 pm

Venue: Guthlaxton Committee Room, County Hall, Glenfield. View directions

No. Item


Welcome by Chairperson/Election of Chair and Vice-Chair


CF welcomed everyone to the meeting.  RD proposed that Mr Faircliffe be nominated as Chair for the year, the members supported this, and he was elected as chair.  In the absence of any candidates for the Vice-Chair role, Mr Denney volunteered to continue in the role for another year.



Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from Ms A Pyper and Mr M Gamble.


Special acknowledgement was made to Mr Roy Denney for his time and commitment in keeping the working group active throughout the Covid period.



Declarations of interest.


The members confirmed that there were no declarations of interest.



Minutes of the previous meeting. pdf icon PDF 113 KB


The amended minutes of the meeting held on 27 October 2022 provided by RD were agreed.


Matters Arising


Item 4 - Further Recruitment

It was agreed to arrange a meeting between the Chair, Vice-Chair and EM to discuss recruitment of new members and volunteers to the group.  Meeting to include looking at current members and identifying interest gaps. 


Item 8 - Unrecorded Ways Group

EM reported that MG had come into CH to help with the digitisation of records but there were issues with the GIS system.  MG had taken away some ideas to understand the previous work carried out.  Discussion took place on the GIS system called QGIS and Mr Miller offered his knowledge and skills on the system to the Forum members.


Item 10 – Any Other Business

BS again expressed concern about the profile of the grass verges and the wrong machinery being used to carry out the cutting which could be potentially dangerous to pedestrians, farm vehicles, cars and horses.  BS had contacted County Hall but not received a response.  Various locations were outlined at the meeting of where there were issues.  EM agreed to contact the officers about inspection of a sample.


Item 9 – Lottery Bid

RD reported he had emailed the Wigston Records Office but was yet to receive a reply concerning availability and manpower in terms of the digitalisation machine.  EM added there was a staffing problem at the Records Office so this may be the reason for the lateness in replying.



Planning Matters

·       Hinckley Rail Freight Interchange

·       MML Electrification


Hinckley Rail Freight Interchange

EM explained that the Freight Interchange was a large, proposed development between the M69 and the Leicester to Birmingham railway line.  EM stated that there are two aspects to it; it was a large site that straddles PROWs and large changes to the railway and signalling to accommodate more trains.


As there was an extensive network of PRoWs, EM was working with National Rail on connected level crossings and discussions were taking place concerning a possible bridge replacement.  EM added that the County Council, as the Highways Authority, was yet to be formally consulted and the application was submitted to the Secretary of State on 6 February 2023. 


Concerns were expressed by the Forum members and suggested a small number of meetings could be arranged by the planning committee.


OO’S commented that consultation had not been carried out appropriately and strong objections will be presented in terms of the highway.


EM to keep LLAF updated.

Submission documents with Planning Inspectorate



MML Electrification

EM reported that work on this had reached South Leicestershire in terms of electrifying this section between Kettering and Wigston.  EM added that bridges are to be demolished and replaced over the rail line and alterations to current structures are to be carried out.  The process will take approximately 6 months and EM agreed to keep the LLAF updated.



De-regulation Update


EM updated the members on the Deregulation changes to PRoWs law in terms of legal orders and modification orders.  EM explained that currently the timeline is a year to decide whether to make an order but the new regulations referred to an interim decision within 3 months and an indication to the applicant whether or not the modification order will go through.


Formal guidance to replace circular 1/09 is to be produced.


EM stated that the Government has agreed not to proceed with the 2026 cut-off date for recording historic rights of way and legislation is being drafted to repeal the date, but no details of the regulations or timeframe have been published.


RD pointed out that a government minister had only said they were minded to drop the cut-off date.


PL reported that 125 British Horse Society definitive map modification order applications are now included on the online register.  PL added their applications did not include certification of notice on the landowners.  The BHS were aware that this was proposed under new legislation that the duty to serve notice on landowners may be transferred to the local highway authority.  RD commented that this required further debate and suggested getting in touch with the BHS.



Records Office and Project Work


It was agreed to defer this item to the next meeting.



Outside Body Updates


a)    Charnwood Forest – representatives to continue.

b)    Leicestershire Footpath Association1904 guide update – lottery assistance agreed so to be updated once County Council and Bradgate Trust update their path networks as planned.



Environmental Land Management


EM updated the LLAF on the Environmental Land Management schemes in terms of phasing out subsidies for land ownership.  Discussion took place on public access and the serious issue of dogs being under control unless on a lead.



Any other items which the Chairperson has decided to take as urgent.


a)    Public Transport

Discussion took place on the public transport access issues across routes.  OO’S informed the meeting that Cabinet would be discussing the subsidies on buses on some routes tomorrow as part of the MTFS 2023/24 and 2024/25.


b)    Orders Update

PL agreed to produce an update on orders at the next meeting.  VA said that there should be a system of 3 phases of the application.  Sent to RD who will put on the circulation.


c)    Barrow on Soar

RD stated that there were 34 pages of circumstantial evidence for the path from Barrow to Cotes.  RD had produced notices to ask for witnesses who have actually walked the path as far as the road.  Discussion took place on the generic inbox where enquiries would be sent to and EM agreed to make enquiries how this inbox could be accessed for RD.



Date of next meeting.

The next meeting of the Leicestershire Local Access Forum will take place on…


It was agreed that the next meetings of the LLAF would be on Wednesday 10 May 2023 at 2.00 pm and Thursday 5 October at 2.00 pm, both at County Hall.


Provisional dates, times and venue for sub-group working meetings were also agreed.