Towards the end of September 2015 I was driving back from visiting a new Estate in East Sussex when I took a call from a developer in the North West.
The problem sounded complex . A bridleway and a footpath had a significant impact on a house being developed for a high profile individual. The developer had believed the diversion would be problematic and time consuming and so a plan had been prepared to lower the level of the bridleway to lose it from view. The longer term plan was then to divert the paths after the house was built.
Emails, plans, drawings and opinions were exchanged over the next month. I visited the site towards the end of October. Our team were ready to go. But we couldn’t help thinking that changing the level was unnecessary and that the best bet was simply to press ahead with a diversion.
By Mid November we had agreed that was the right step and that the original wish to hide the bridleway should be abandoned, so with the agreement of the Council, we were able to undertake the pre-order consultation and in March this year the Council agreed to make a complex order for the diversion of the bridleway and the footpath. We then drafted the Order. With a few frustrating delays for Christmas, Easter and annual holidays, the Order was eventually confirmed in July. Even with those delays, from start to finish the process was completed within 8 months.
The result is:
Greater privacy and security for the new house being built on the site; and
A much nicer environment for riding and walking:
There is no particular reason why diversions should take long to be dealt with. Invariably it is because officers in councils have too many cases to process or councils have processes which cannot accommodate speedy decisions (such as infrequent committee meetings). Allowing the applicant’s advisers to do the consultation and the drafting of orders saves time for the council.
We are pleased to be pursuing this model in Wiltshire now and look forward to the time when it is the normal way of dealing with matters.
As always we are happy to help you achieve a diversion – call Michael Wood on 07796 958572 or email Michael on firstname.lastname@example.org