Network Rail propose to close the unmanned foot crossing over the railway just to the west of Hollingbourne Station and divert the footpath so it uses the railway bridge at Hollingbourne Station. A number of residents have expressed views on the matter so a public consultation process is to be held. Please Read More for further information. It is understood that Kent County Council is likely to oppose the closure of the present crossing.
Please Note – This meeting was originally to have been held on 13th December in the Village Hall.
KENT COUNTY COUNCIL
To all interested parties
APPLICATION TO DIVERT PART OF PUBLIC FOOTPATH KH183 FROM THE AT GRADE FOOT CROSSING TO THE EXISTING STEPPED BRIDGE AT HOLLINGBOURNE RAILWAY STATION IN THE BOROUGH OF MAIDSTONE.
I am writing to let you know that the above proposal will now be considered by a Regulation Committee Member Panel at 2.30 pm on Tuesday, 23 January 2018 at Hollingbourne Village Hall, Eyhorne Street, Hollingbourne ME17 1TR. I enclose a copy of the Procedure to be followed.
The original report to the Panel has already been sent to you and published on the KCC website www.kent.gov.uk/aboutthecouncil/councilmeetings/committees. The papers for this meeting will be sent to you on Monday, 15 January. If you would like to make representations to the Panel, you will need to contact me at the above address by the Friday before the Panel meets (Friday, 19 January). If you have already indicated your wish to speak, I will assume that this is still your intention unless I hear to the contrary.
The Panel Members will be visiting the part of the Public Footpath under discussion at 1.45 pm. You are most welcome to attend. The purpose of this visit will be to enable Members of the Panel to familiarise themselves with the area. They will not be debating the merits of the application at that stage. The site visit may delay the start of the panel meeting itself.
Governance and Law
A plan of the footpath and the proposed changes is at KH183-Hollingbourne-plans.pdf (173 downloads)
The Agenda for the Original Meeting is at ADocPackPublic.version0001.pdf (133 downloads)
A note about the KCC procedure for changing a public footpath appears below:-
KENT COUNTY COUNCIL
PROCEDURE FOR CONSIDERING APPLICATIONS FOR THE CREATION, STOPPING UP OR DIVERSION OF ANY FOOTPATH OR BRIDLEWAY OR THE RECLASSIFICATION OF ANY PUBLIC PATH WHERE SUBSTANTIVE OBJECTION HAS BEEN RAISED OR A POLITICAL PARTY OR THE LOCAL MEMBER REQUESTS
- The decision as to whether or not to approve an application for the creation, stopping up or diversion of any footpath or bridleway or the reclassification of any public path is taken by Members of a Panel of the Regulation Committee.
- At any such meeting the Council will permit members of the public and other interested parties to speak to the Panel Members.
- The purpose of allowing people to speak is to enable them to add any information that they feel may be missing from the Head of Regulatory Services’ report, or which they feel has been insufficiently emphasized in it. They may ask for a solicitor or other professional agent to speak on their behalf..
- If a Panel of Members needs to consider an application, the following procedure applies:-
- A Panel of Members is selected, conforming proportionally to the overall number of political Group Members in the Council as a whole. The Chairman of the Panel will normally be the Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the Regulation Committee.
- The Clerk of the Panel writes to all parties who have previously corresponded on the application 5 clear working days before the meeting, enclosing the report which the Panel will be considering and advising them that if they wish to speak about the application they MUST contact as follows:
|DAY OF PANEL MEETING||Contact Clerk by 12.00 Noon on the preceding|
(c) The Panel will normally meet in public unless the Panel resolves to exclude the press and public under the provisions set out in Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972. Normally, the Panel will listen to representations from up to four parties. These WILL include:-
– one local Parish or Town Council representative;
– two individuals or group representatives;
– the applicant; and
– the landowner, who has the right of reply to any of the points made.
Where there are more than four parties who wish to speak, the Clerk will encourage them to agree amongst themselves as to who can best represent their point of view. If no such agreement proves possible, the Chairman of the Panel will decide which members of the public may speak.
(d) At the Panel meeting, the Chairman will explain the procedure for the meeting and then ask the Head of Regulatory Services or his representative to introduce the report and explain the reasons for its recommendations.
- Each speaker will be allowed a reasonable amount of time at the discretion of the Chairman to address the Panel about the application. Speakers should bear in mind the following:-
- The Panel will listen to what each speaker says but will not debate the merits of their opinions with them;
- The speakers should concentrate on explaining the points they have already made in writing. They should not attempt to surprise the Panel with new information. Any such information should already have been given to the Head of Regulatory Services in time for it to have been evaluated professionally.
- The landowner has the right to be the last of the public speakers. There is no further right for the public to speak during the remainder of the meeting.
- The Panel will then discuss the report and its recommendations and will also offer the local Kent County Council Member the opportunity to make representations. The application will then be determined.