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Thread: River Dart issue

  1. #1
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    Default River Dart issue

    From UKRGB

    http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/f...hp?f=3&t=82843



    River Dart Staverton Access hassles

    by jeremyvanr Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:03 pm
    Hi everyone
    I got a visit from PC Booth from Totnes Police station yesterday evening (Saturday 8th October 2011).
    He said that I had no right of access river left after Staverton Bridge.
    I'd brought my group out where we'd got out for years at the Old Mill egress.
    I'd heard there were residents and a developer who were trying to make a fuss and stop access.
    The residents tried physically blocking our way and initially tried to be aggressive.
    I had juniors in the group.
    When they realised we weren't going to be intimidated they backed off.
    I feel it's important to keep using this egress as it's an old access point that's been used by locals for many years.
    The other spots where some people get out is no good for juniors or anyone who is disabled in any way.
    I wrote twice to the BCU Rivers Access Campaign Group about this last year sending them photos of the small gate that's been put up at the Staverton Bridge egress saying "no canoeists".
    Of course I never heard back from them and wonder if they aren't actually just smoke and mirrors to make it look like the BCU care.
    My club are getting together documentation to fight the attempt to block access.
    Funnily enough the residents have allowed access for fishermen.
    I'm not sure why the copper came round but I told him we didn't agree that it was private regardless of what a new development thought and would fight it.
    So I would say use it or lose it.
    The ordinary person has a right to access the great outdoors.
    Remember "The Kinder Trespass in 1932 was a landmark in the campaign for national parks and open access to moorland in Britain. At the time, such open moors were closed to all; they were strongly identified with the game-keeping interests of landed gentry who used them only 12 days a year."
    If only the BCU would put together a team to help local canoeists with these issues.

  2. #2
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    I also wonder why the long arm of the came round. Sounds like the developer has a local councillor in their pocket and or they're fishing.

    TGB
    May the gentleness of morning, greet your silent passage through endless waters...

    May all your winds be gentle. And for ww - May it rain the night before.

  3. #3
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    Default P,f,l,o,p

    Hi Quicky, it appears our rights are under threat on rivers we have used though out history, as estate agents and
    land owners realise the fact that there is no law in relation to river access, the problem you met on the Dart
    will be repeated where ever they feel they can get away will it.

    As for the Police man, it is not his job to make the law, just to enforce it if it is broken,

    Have you considered inviting other paddlers from the sotp to join you in a group trip,with a put/getout at that place ?

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    monkey_pork is offline a wind age, a wolf age - before the world goes headlong Super Moderator
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    This slip has been used for egress for a good while now - I've used it quite a bit myself for accessing the river, but I suspect that it was never actually a permissive right-of-way to start with. I can easily see that when the mill building fell into disuse, nobody really worried about it, it started to get used, and has now become established - and that's what's being sought.

    You can see why too, as it's ideal for getting to/from the river.

    There are a few bits of correspondence online about the redevelopment going back to 2001 (which does include the river frontage). Lots of talk in them about flood defence, which might add weight to denying the access I guess.

    Not really the point, but I wonder what Staverton Parish would make of people using the slipway down towards the weir for access / egress?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyperion View Post
    As for the Police man, it is not his job to make the law, just to enforce it if it is broken,
    I think you'll find that is confined to the criminal law and I don't see any suggestion that the canoeists broke any criminal law. Especially in these days of falling police numbers they should avoid getting involved in things like this.

    If the gate has been erected across a public footpath it requires permission from the local highway authority and must be justified by the need to control the movement of animals (not canoeists).

    It appears that you may have a right to claim that this is a public right of way by presumed dedication in which case you should apply quickly for it to be added to the definitive map.
    Last edited by KeithD; 10th-October-2011 at 06:13 PM. Reason: more information
    Keith

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    monkey_pork is offline a wind age, a wolf age - before the world goes headlong Super Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeithD View Post
    If the gate has been erected across a public footpath it requires permission from the local highway authority and must be justified by the need to control the movement of animals (not canoeists).
    I'll get some screen grabs from Google streetmapping in a bit and post them, which'll help with getting a feel for the site.

    The short version is that before the development works started you used to be able to just nip across a corner of the site (from the road) and gain access to a small beach down on the river, but as part of the groundworking on the site, this isn't now possible.

    There is a footpath along the other side of the property, which remains in place, completely unaffected by the redevelopment.

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    "in a bit" is relative of course, (entirely down to time dilation ), anyway, here are the pictures.

    Taken from Google mapping, so it's all in the public domain. I'd guess they are probably summer 2009.
    The building work is long complete, so the scaffold and Heras fencing has gone.

    The data on Google at the time I screen-grabbed these are before the landscaping changes, so reflects the situation as it was when the building was both derelict, and whilst the work was ongoing. The landscaping has now changed the bank behind the beach.

    Looking back at the building from the bridge, showing the little beach. The hand-drawn line is the route out from/to the road.



    ------------------------
    Below is from up by the building - showing where the route out to/from the road was.
    Before the building work there was no Heras fencing or other physical barrier to pedestrians (err ... that I can recall - certainly nothing of substance), but there
    have been those large stones there to prevent 'travellers' vehicles for a good while.

    When the building was derelict (as it was for some time), one could just hop in past those big stones, nip through that gap in the wall, down the bank and straight down to the river (or the other way around of course ).



    This area has been significantly landscaped now, making it feel like part of the mill refurb. I've got a feeling that there is a small wall alongside the road too now, enclosing the landscaping, and tying it into the building.

    In it's time as a working building this route would have just provided vehicle access to the workshops that were along the river frontage, (and that are now almost all demolished (They were where the site caravan and orange coloured cement mixer are in that ^ picture).

    The original footpath is on the other side of the building, completely unaffected by the work.

    The Google mapping link is here if you fancy a look from the primary source. The overhead shot is a good bit earlier than the streetmapping shots, perhaps as early as 2007/2008, certainly before any work had started.
    Last edited by monkey_pork; 14th-October-2011 at 06:35 PM. Reason: Added the source link

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