Procedure for Site Visits
From time to time members of a subcommittee may feel it appropriate to inspect the site of a proposal to appreciate better the issues involved, or to hear at first hand from the interested parties. Site inspections are essentially informal fact-finding meetings There are practical difficulties in holding decision-making meetings on site. In order to avoid confusion and make the best use of the time on site, the following procedure is recommended.
- Site inspections are to be agreed at a public rights of way subcommittee meeting and are held only when deemed necessary by the subcommittee.
- Dates are set for the inspection at the subcommittee meeting.
- Shared transport arrangements are encouraged.
- All members of the public rights of way subcommittee and the local member are entitled to attend.
- The authority environment director and the solicitor and other officers should attend by agreement.
- Representatives are invited from the appropriate parish/town and district councils (not more than two members each).
- The landowner/applicant and/or agent is invited to attend.
- Objectors to, and supporters of, the application should be invited at the discretion of the chairman.
3. Procedure on site
- The chairman will introduce those organisations and individuals present, point out the informal nature of the site inspection, and that the proposal in question has been deferred for consideration at a meeting following the site inspection.
- The authority environment director or his representative will be asked to outline the proposal, drawing attention to any particular aspects of the site and/or issues as necessary.
- The landowner/applicant or his agent may be invited to mention any matter of relevance.
- The parish/town council and district council will be asked for any comments.
- On occasions where others such as objectors or supporters are present, they may be asked to speak at the discretion of the chairman.
- The chairman may ask if there are any further points of clarification. Observations may be offered or questions asked at an appropriate point.
- The authority environment director will make a written report to the next meeting of the public rights of way subcommittee (or a later meeting if that is not possible), at which a decision will be taken on the proposal.
If this informal fact-finding exercise is not considered adequate for a particular proposal, the public rights of way subcommittee may hold a formal site meeting, which will be a public meeting under the provisions of the Local Government (Access to Information) Act 1985.