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Court Orders Closure of Bridleway through BMW's Plant Oxford

Douglas Edwards QC

District Judge Loosley, sitting at the Oxford Magistrates Court, has allowed Oxfordshire County Council's application under s.116 Highways Act 1980 to close an extensive bridleway which passes through the middle of BMW's "Plant Oxford" at Cowley, where the mini is manufactured. The County Council made the application at the request of BMW on the basis that the route was unnecessary and that there were compelling public interest considerations which justified the exercise of the Court's discretion to make the order. The application was vociferously opposed by the Ramblers' Association and the British Horse Society, amongst others. The hearing lasted nine days. In the course of his judgment the District Judge made some interesting and important observations concerning the approach which a court should take to an application under s.116 HA 1980.

Douglas Edwards appeared for Oxfordshire County Council.