The Rights of Way Inspector, Mr Martin Elliott, issued his decision on 19th December 2018 - four months after the closure of the public inquiry. He CONFIRMED the Order, meaning that the Glenacres/Byron Court path is now officially a Public Right of Way - No.77 on Liverpool City Council's Definitive Map.
In his Order Decision report - a copy of which can be found here - Mr Elliott went through the various points made by 'the objector', i.e. the Byron Court (Liverpool) Management Company Ltd, and discussed them one by one. He stated that some of the arguments were "finely balanced", but nevertheless concluded that the case put forward by the Gateacre Society, based on evidence of past use and lack of relevant prohibitory notices, was valid.
The Inspector's decision was based on the provisions of the Highways Act - and the evidence of unhindered use of the path during the 20-year period 1996 to 2016 - rather than Common Law which the City Council thought offered a stronger justification. He did not reject the Common Law argument, but said that it was not necessary for him to make a ruling on it given that the Highways Act case had been proven.
The Inspector was clearly impressed by the volume and quality of the evidence in support of the Right of Way. He explicitly rejected the accusation that the evidence presented was the result of "over exuberance" or "collusion" instigated by the Gateacre Society.
All of the evidence submitted during the Inquiry, both for and against the Right of Way claim, is available for viewing/downloading elsewhere on this special section of our website:
The Gateacre Society's submission regarding the draft Definitive Map Modification Order (Jan.2017)
Liverpool City Council's documents including their Statement of Case, Proof of Evidence, and Letters of Objection and Support received
The Gateacre Society's Statement of Case (Jan.2018)
The Gateacre Society's Annexes 1-24
Byron Court (Liverpool) Management Company's documents including their Statement of Case, Proofs of Evidence and Appendices
The Gateacre Society's summary of the Public Inquiry (March-August 2018)
The Closing Statements submitted to the Inquiry (Aug.2018)