The Inspector concluded that it was clear that it was necessary to stop up the 63m stretch of Footpath 14 to allow an approved development to be carried out (para 7). The development in question included the construction of 50 houses, 7 of which could not be built unless the relevant stretch of footpath was stopped up.
The parties agreed that Footpath 14 provides an important and well-used link between the built up area of Sandbach and open countryside. Whilst it might have seemed from the Order Map that the link provided for by Footpath 14 would be lost if the Order was confirmed (and that the stopping up of a section of the footpath would leave two cul de sac sections of path with no link between them), in fact that was not the case. Those two sections of path are connected by an estate road and associated footway, and users of Footpath 14 can, therefore, continue to use that footway to carry out their journeys. In fact, survey evidence submitted by the developer showed that members of the public were already using the footway, rather than the definitive line of the affected footpath, suggesting that they already found the footway acceptable.
The Inspector concluded that he had seen no evidence to suggest that the stopping up proposed would result in any disadvantage or loss to persons whose properties adjoin or are close to the existing footpath and, overall, the Order would result in little disadvantage or loss to such persons.
Merrow Golden acted for Persimmon Homes (North West) Ltd, as the applicant and supporter of the Order.