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Proposed diversion of Footpath 36, Rochford, Essex

DATE: 29 Jul 2014

This was a two day inquiry concerning the confirmation of a footpath diversion order made by Rochford District Council pursuant to s.119 of the Highways Act 1980 to divert a footpath which ran through the airside area of London Southend Airport, a recently redeveloped and fast growing airport for commercial and passenger flights, used by over 1 million passengers in 2013-2014.

The issues included:

  1. Whether it had been demonstrated that the proposed diversion was not substantially less convenient than the existing route; and

  2. Whether it was expedient to confirm the order, having regard to the statutory material considerations under s.119 of the 1980 Act as well as all other relevant considerations, including in particular the requirements of EU Regulations 300/2008 and 185/2010 on common standards for aviation security throughout the EU which require a physical obstruction between the landside and airside parts of an airport and the imposition of restrictions on the persons entitled to go airside. 

Following the inquiry, on 8 October 2014 the Inspector published his decision confirming the order.

Heather Sargent appeared for Rochford District Council, the order-making authority (instructed by the Council Legal Department).

Charles Banner appeared for London Southend Airport Company Limited, the applicant for the diversion order (instructed by Ian Ginbey of Clyde & Co LLP).