Category Archives: Change at Chadkirk : footpath closure/bridleway planned

A is for Access : A tale of two footpaths

Do you remember Autumn 2014? And, among other things, the surprising news that somehow someone had the idea to close one of the most popular footpaths at Chadkirk? The footpath threatened with closure was the one from the main car park, alongside the stream, over the bridge, through Little Wood and out on the lane by St Chad’s Well.

the start of the path...

One way it seemed possible to save this footpath was to apply to have it dedicated as a footpath. Any footpath that is dedicated and recorded on the Definitive Map showing public rights of way could not be closed. So Friends of Chadkirk started the ball rolling….

The appropriate forms were filled in and submitted to the appropriate officials. Most of the land is owned by Stockport MBC. A small part of the path is not. Establishing that walkers have used the path as a right of way for many years can be a way to have a footpath dedicated. Setting this process in motion seemed vital, given the proposals to close the footpath. The application has been in the hands of Public Rights of Way officials since June 2015.

In the event, after a series of meetings, the Werneth Area Committee rescinded the plans. The footpath remains open. For now. But what of the future? As an application has been submitted and supporting statements made by regular users, might it be best to continue to see if the footpath can be dedicated and thus protected for future walkers in Chadkirk Country Park?

If you visit Chadkirk and have been walking this path for a period of years, then this experience can be the basis of a brief user statement. This can then form part of the evidence that would be part of the case for footpath dedication.

The link to the form to be filled in is here:

http://www.stockport.gov.uk/services/leisureculture/walkinginstockport/publicrightsofway/

Completing a form (under Form tab) and passing it to the Friends of Chadkirk is one way that you can take part in the process of protecting this footpath for future generations.

Issues of Access in Chadkirk Country Park Estate.
Come along to a Friends of Chadkirk meeting.
New friends welcome.

Werneth Area Committee decides…

At this evening’s meeting the committee agreed to implement points 1, 2 and 4.

So – the original plan for a bridleway A-B has been rescinded, a short addition to current footpaths has been agreed to enable wheelchair access to part of the country park and the proposals about improving visibility were passed. These changes are likely to use the allocated budget of £20 000.

A variety of comments were made about the new footpath G-H.
There was some sense that Committee members might want this to be given further consideration. The Equestrians’ representative made an offer of funds/donations.That proposal could not be considered at this meeting.

The Werneth Area Committee has decided.
For any future proposals…watch this space.

Additional note: 5th August
Full minutes from the meeting, as published on the stockport Council website can be read in the blogpost here.

The future of the footpath

2012 Gate and  new path

This ‘new’ footpath was added to the pathways of the Country Park to enable pedestrians to walk from the main car park to the Chapel in safety. For many years there had been concerns that the road was potentially dangerous for walkers, especially children, walkers with their pets and people who were less mobile.

As a way forward, this new footpath was created.

Today, 3rd July, a proposal was published on-line. This proposal will be put to the Werneth Area Committee on 13th July. The elected representatives will be asked to comment on this proposal:

Comment on the proposal to permit equestrian access to route (G to H on the plan) or to retain the route for pedestrians only.

G to H on the map is the ‘new’ footpath.

So permit equestrian access?
or retain the route for pedestrians only?

What do you think?
You have a week to let your councillors know how any change might affect you, so that their comments will reflect the views of current users and the wider community.

The width of the path

The width of the path

the width of the path...is ...

the width of the path…is …

The latest proposals…

Today the latest proposals for Chadkirk were published on the council website. Below is a cut and paste of what you will see when you follow the links to Werneth Area Committee Meeting Agenda 13th July.

There is now one week to read, consider and respond to these proposals.
Interested parties may want to submit questions, attend the meeting, or write to representatives.

Hot off the press:

Bridleway at Chadkirk Country Estate  PDF 73 KB
• View the background to item 7.
To consider a report of the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration.
 
The report details a proposal for the Area Committee to give further consideration to the dedication of a bridleway at Chadkirk Country Estate, as marked A to B on the plan attached to the report.
 
The Area Committee is recommended to
 
(1) Reconsider the dedication of a bridleway at Chadkirk Country Estate, marked A to B on the attached plan given the considerations listed.
 
(2) Support the creation of an extension to the existing pedestrian footpath to in improve accessibility (E to F on the plan).
 
(3) Comment on the proposal to permit equestrian access to route (G to H on the plan) or to retain the route for pedestrians only.
 
(4) Acknowledge the need to improve visibility at two points (K and M on the attached plan).
 
Officer contact: Ian Walmsley on 0161 474 4382 or email: ian.walmsley@stockport.gov.uk
Additional documents:
• Enc. 1 for Bridleway at Chadkirk Country Estate , item 7.
 PDF 2 MB
• Plan , item 7.
 PDF 326 KB

Democracy and change at Chadkirk

Apologies… date of next Werneth Area Committee Meeting in earlier post was incorrect.

Look out for information about any new proposals in the week beginning 6th July.

The information about the meeting on the Stockport website is:

Werneth Area Committee
Monday, 13th July, 2015 6.00 pm

The agenda will be displayed in the week before the meeting

Proposed venue: Dining Room – Woodley Civic Hall

Contact: Damian Eaton (0161 474 3207)

So… what’s new?

We have all been watching to see how any changes to recent proposals are progressing. Local councillors have visited Chadkirk. Any amendments to previous plans are not yet public.

It is unclear when these plans will be announced. However it is clear that locals, visitors and residents will want to study and reflect on the proposals so that they might see how they could affect their use of the area and the unique conservation status of Chadkirk.

It would seem that the best we can do is keep a look out on the Stockport website which notifies us about future meetings. If the itention is to discuss and vote on any proposals at the July meeting, then the plans may be published on the site one week before that.

For those wishing to attend the Werneth Area Committee meeting, the date for your diary is Monday 6th July.

Local democracy

Recent elections have seen a change in the political landscape both locally and nationally. Locally that means that the individual members of the Werneth Area Committee have changed.

For the recently elected councillors, they will be required to make decisions on a range of issues – including the future of Chadkirk Country Park.

The council officer responsible for gathering information and views about recent proposals is in the midst of a consultation process.

It has been decided that given the change in personnel on the committee, there is a need to ensure that councillors learn something of the landscape and views of different user groups so that they can evaluate the plans to rescind the proposal for a bridleway at Chadkirk.

As a result, I understand that the matter is unlikely to come before the first meeting of the Werneth Area Committee since the elections. This means that the matter will not be on the agenda for the meeting on Monday 8th June.

The Chair of the Friends of Chadkirk was informed of this in the last few days. At the time of going to press with this item, there is no information about a new date for the proposal to come before the committee. However, it remains true that elected representatives will be called upon to make a balanced decision in the interests of all local people and users of the Country Park and Estate, as well as the clearly defined conservation goals of Chadkirk.

Democracy in Stockport – latest on the bridleway

Click to access Werneth%20Progress.pdf

It is anticipated that a report will be submitted to the meeting of the Werneth Area Committee on 8 June 2015.

Stockport’s website suggests that the report will be available before the meeting, perhaps a week before the report is considered by the Committee. It seems that the intention is that interested parties, keen to see how any new proposals affect them, will be able to view the report on-line on June 1st. This gives a week to consider and raise questions with local decision makers.

As in the previous meeting, questions can be submitted to the Werneth Area Committee Meeting about any new plans for a bridleway at Chadkirk.

Your favourite footpath?

the start of the path...

There are so many delights at Chadkirk that it seems impossible to pick a favourite. However, for many people, it would be the footpath by the stream. A few steps from the car park, you are soon beside the stream and looking out over fields towards the woods. Although the path is not really suitable for wheelchairs, it is ideal for walkers who need to be on the flat and can just manage a short walk. Alternatively, runners like to use this path as part of their circuit. And for dog walkers it is an opportunity to let dogs run (and paddle!) without fear of traffic.

While many people use this path each day, it’s existence was overlooked in the plans to change Chadkirk by adding a bridleway.These plans proposed the closure of this much loved and well-used footpath.

Although this proposal was initially agreed at Werneth Area Committee meeting, once the local representatives became aware of the planned closure of the footpath and several other significant issues, the plans were halted. The process of consulting local groups has been taking place. Soon the decision to rescind the plan will come before a Werneth Area Committee meeting.

This consultation process means that for users of the path there is an opportunity to express your views. Individuals can also ask questions at the next committee meeting. The meeting is open.

There are many people who visit Chadkirk regularly and who may be unaware of this planning process, so in part, I am writing this to provide information about that process.

In addition, there may be a way to safeguard this footpath from any future threat. This involves the process of having the path dedicated or recorded. This process can take a while…However we have started the ball rolling and will keep you updated about that here.

In the meantime, if you have walked this path regularly, repeatedly, frequently over the years then you might be able to be part of that process by providing a witness statement.

Please get in touch through the comments section of this blog and/or come along to a Friends of Chadkirk meeting.

Friends of Chadkirk Meeting for May: Thursday 7th May at 7-30pm
in Chadkirk Chapel.

New bridleway…to be or not to be ?

New bridleway…to be or not to be ?

The story so far.

In March 2014 Werneth Area Committee agreed to a proposal to build a new bridleway. The existing footpath from the car park, by the stream and through Little Wood would be closed. A new bridleway would be built so that horses could go around a circuit in the fields, including the Coronation Meadow.

In July, a casual remark from a council employee alerted the Friends of Chadkirk to the plan.

From July to November, Friends of Chadkirk set about learning more about the plans, so that other users groups might be consulted about the desirability of the proposal and to get some idea of how it might affect the environment.

In November 2014 Werneth Area Committee met and decided to request that more information was collected and a report submitted.

The Werneth Area Committee met again on Monday 8th December.
Chadkirk bridleway was Item 10 on the agenda.

The minutes of the meeting are now available on line. Here are the key paragraphs:

Since this date (March 2014) and prior to works starting on site or indeed the Deed of Dedication being drafted a number of issues have arisen. It is possible that had the Committee been aware of these issues at the time the resolution to dedicate the bridleway might not have been made.
 
The Area Committee is recommended to  reconsider the dedication of a bridleway at Chadkirk Country Estate, marked A-B on the attached plan given the considerations listed within the report.
 

Minutes:
A representative of the Corporate Director for Place Management and Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) outlining the current position with regard to the dedication of a bridleway at Chadkirk Country Estate previously approved by the Area Committee at its meeting on 10 March 2014. 
 
RESOLVED – That consideration of this item be deferred to a future meeting of the Area Committee pending a full consultation on the proposals to rescind the previous decision of the Area Committee to make an Order to dedicate a bridleway at Chadkirk Country Estate as marked A-B on the plan attached to the report.