Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Town Hall, Maidenhead

Contact: Mark Beeley  01628 796345 / Email:

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No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Cannon and Councillor Muir. Councillor Bateson was attending the meeting as Councillor Cannon’s substitute.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To receive any declarations of interest.


In the interests of transparency, Councillor Rayner explained that she had visited the footpath last year with officers.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 276 KB

To consider the minutes of the meeting held on 7th April 2021.


RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the minutes of the meeting held on 7th April 2021 were approved as an accurate record.


Footpaths 17 and 59 Cookham: diversion application pdf icon PDF 538 KB

To consider the report.


The Chairman confirmed that the Panel had visited the site the previous week, accompanied by an officer from RBWM. The members who had attended the site visit were Councillor Baskerville, Councillor Brar, Councillor Baldwin, Councillor Haseler and Councillor Hunt.


Anthony Hurst, Parks and Countryside Manager, explained that the application had been received from the landowner for the diversion of parts of Footpaths 17 and 59 Cookham, at Mount Farm in Cookham. The proposal was that parts of footpath 17 would be moved from crossing the field as it was currently, to be diverted to the permitted path in situ that followed the edge of the field instead, and a connecting section of Footpath 59 would also be diverted. The dashed black lines on the map showed the proposed new routes of the footpaths, with the current routes shown by solid black lines. There were some legal tests that needed to be applied when considering this application. The proposed diversion had to be considered under the criteria set out in Section 119 of the Highways Act 1980. This required that before making a Diversion Order the Council had to be satisfied that the proposal would be in the interests of the owner of the land and/or in the interests of the public. Before confirming an Order, the Council had to also be satisfied that the proposed new route would not be substantially less convenient to the public than the existing route and must have regard to the effect that the diversion would have had on public enjoyment of the path as a whole, and the effect that the coming into operation of the diversion would have had on land served by the existing right of way. The Council had to also have regard to the needs of agriculture and forestry, flora and fauna, and any relevant provisions within the current “Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Public Rights of Way improvement Plan 2016-2026”.


The officer view was that the proposed diversion did not meet the criteria, both in terms of the ‘convenience’ test and the ‘enjoyment’ test, and therefore a recommendation had been put forward in the report to refuse the application. Anthony Hurst presented some photos to the Panel which showed the footpaths and area that was being discussed.


The Chairman asked if Anthony Hurst could clarify what the difference was between a permitted footpath and a public footpath.


Anthony Hurst said the fundamental difference was a public right of way was permanent and available to use all year round. A permitted footpath could be opened up by landowners, but it was up to them whether it was temporary or if it was later closed.


Dick Scarff said that he was speaking on behalf of the Cookham Society. He said the current footpath had great views whereas the new proposed footpath lost these views as it went around the edge of the field. Female walkers felt safer crossing the middle of a field, particularly as the edge was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22.

Recorded Vote
TitleTypeRecorded Vote textResult
To refuse the application Motion Drawn
To permit the application Motion Drawn
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