3.18 The plan attached to Report CPO/238/84 - which was the basis on which the City Council granted planning permission L263425 to omit the originally-proposed footpath from within the Woolton Park Close housing development - contains the words "Alternative Link" alongside the path which is now (33 years later) proposed for designation as a Public Right of Way. The fact that it was described in 1984 as "not a legal public right of way" is not, in our view, significant, because Liverpool did not have any 'legal' public rights of way until 2004 when the Definitive Map was confirmed by the City Council.
3.19 A brief description and explanation of Liverpool City Council's slow progress in producing its Definitive Map is contained in Annex 24 (appended to this Statement of Case) which is an extract from a Proof of Evidence submitted by Brian Mason to an earlier (2005) Public Inquiry. This confirms that a relatively small proportion of the alleged Public Rights of Way in Liverpool (i.e. 54 out of more than 120) were actually included in the Definitive Map when it was first created. The "resourcing difficulties" referred to in that document have continued, and worsened, since that time, meaning that there are still large numbers of Rights of Way which are missing from the Definitive Map.
4 Response to Objections
4.1 The response of the Byron Court Management Company to our Right of Way Claim in May 2016 was a Landowner Evidence Form (Form F) and covering letter, dated 26 July 2016, signed by Ms Veronica Gambin and Mr Paul Rattigan making the following statements:
4.1 (i) "We do not accept that the previous owner of the land, being the Local Authority, had allowed any implied right or had dedicated any right of access."
4.1 (ii) "It is also not feasible to accept that the Liverpool City Council Planning Authority would not have insisted that a public right of way be protected at the design, planning and building stages of the Byron Court Development, which clearly it has not been".
4.1 (iii) "Furthermore, it is unrealistic to accept that if such a right of way existed, then the Gateacre Society would not have sought to have it declared on the Definitive Map at that stage … There is no evidence to suggest this was the case".
4.1 (iv) "Until the last few years, the fact that we had signs, bollards and that a number of our residents challenged people in the grounds, was sufficient to deter people walking through our property … It must have been clear to any reasonable person that property was 'private' and there was nothing to suggest that it could be anything other than private property".