Material consideration; footpath; blocking of; para 98 NPPF

Malvern Hills District Council v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and another [2021] EWHC 129 (27 January 2021) – 

d protect and enhance public rights of way and access, including taking opportunities to provide better facilities for users, for example by adding links to existing rights of way networks including National Trails.”

The High Court held that the inspector had correctly applied paragraph 98 and, given that the evidence suggested that the public right of way would be protected as the footpath could be diverted to an equally convenient alternative route, he had correctly concluded that the Highways Act 1980 (HA 1980) procedures should be followed to determine if such a diversion was possible.

The grant of planning permission did not authorise the obstruction of the footpath by the storage building. If the application failed, action could be taken under sections 137 and 137ZA of the HA 1980 to remove the obstruction. (from practical law)

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