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Landport farm road pedestrian access

On Sat 20 Jun at 6:07pm sara wrote:
Does anyone happen to know what pedestrian access rights are for this road?
On Sun 21 Jun at 7:09am David Stanley wrote:
No right of way on OS map.
On Sun 21 Jun at 11:25am Ferret wrote:
It's not entirely clear. The Google Maps Streetview vehicle obviously went down as far as where Landport Farm Road meets Landport Road, which is a clearly marked byway on OS Explorer 122. Landport Farm Road is also mentioned in an ESCC seasonal prohibition order in 1918, which prohibits 4 wheel vehicles, but not motorbikes, bicycles, horses or pedestrians, suggesting that it too is a right of way. I would say that in the absence of any prohibition, it is okay for pedestrians and bike riders to use. Vehicular access is another matter. I would ban all 4x4 greenlaning.

Check it out here »
On Sun 21 Jun at 11:26am Ferret wrote:
Oops, it was 2018! Not a century ago
On Sun 21 Jun at 1:25pm sara wrote:
Very helpful, thank you for your responses. I will attempt to phone the council tomorrow to clarify further. It is used regularly by both walkers and cyclists, I was somewhat shocked when I was asked not to use the road yesterday!
On Sun 21 Jun at 1:28pm sara wrote:
Thank you for the link Ferret.
On Sun 21 Jun at 1:50pm Ferret wrote:
Looking into it further, on the East Sussex Rights of Way map, Landport Farm Road appears to have the same status as the Offham Road, i.e. it's a public highway with no restrictions. As you say, it is somewhat shocking for someone (presumably a resident) to tell you that it is a private road when it doesn't seem to be. You can enquire into its status on the attached page.
I was once challenged by someone for cycling on Landport Road where it passes through the wooded area to Offham. That is also a byway, so even motorised vehicles can use it, unfortunately.

Check it out here »
On Sun 21 Jun at 4:57pm David Stanley wrote:
I think I will start using it then as I always assumed it was a private road and the farmer would have a go. Silly me ,it's much more convenient than cycling through Landport.
On Sun 21 Jun at 7:00pm Ferret wrote:
Wouldn't it be wonderful if the Landport Road byway from Landport to Offham was a surface as good as the Lewes to Ringmer joint use cycle path? It would be a great link to the countryside on that side of Lewes, instead of cycling on the Offham Road to the annoyance of motorists who can't bear to be held up even for a few seconds.
On Sun 21 Jun at 10:02pm David Stanley wrote:
To be honest you could send someone on a quad bike with a trailer full of gravel to fill a few of the holes and it would make a big difference.
On Sun 21 Jun at 10:45pm Tom Pain wrote:
I cycle along the pavement there, it's a bit bumpy but I've never met any pedestrians to endanger.
On Mon 22 Jun at 11:06am Horseman7 wrote:
The sign at the Offham Road junction says "Private Road". The track does not show as a right of way (green or red dots or dashes) on the OS Explorer map. However...... if you engage the National Parks layer on the online version (the pink accessible on foot/horse/cycle routes) Landport Farm Road is included.
On Mon 22 Jun at 4:15pm Ferret wrote:
Bad news, I'm afraid. Jeremy James, East Sussex Rights of Way officer, responded to my query as follows:
"Thank you for your enquiry. I can confirm that Landport Farm Road is not a Public Right of Way nor is it registered as a Public Highway. Also, it does not appear to be a permissive route i.e. one crossing private land that does not have any statutory rights of access but which the landowners allow the public to use. Therefore, only private access rights would apply in this case."
It's a miserable resident who would object to a pedestrian using it to get down to the riverside walks and the byway, but maybe they've had some bad experiences with intruders. Anyway, best avoided, unless you've got permission.
On Mon 22 Jun at 5:25pm Sara wrote:
Thank you so much for your post Ferret, though not the news I wanted to hear.
The residents objection was purely based on 'if I let you walk here, everyone will'. Mean and small minded spring to mind, and as I have never seen her stop anyone else, can't help but feel somewhat singled out.
However, I do at least have a concrete answer now, so thank you again.
On Mon 22 Jun at 7:12pm hmm wrote:
You really canít drive along that road a resident has put up their own gate across the bumpy road . So only walkers can get through !
On Mon 22 Jun at 9:00pm Ferret wrote:
I agree with you Sarah. I'm surprised that it's not at least a permissive path. I did suggest that it would be a good thing (to Mr James at ESCC), but I guess LDC wouldn't want to add to their financial burden by adopting it, and being required to maintain it. But it is mean-spirited to deny pedestrian use given that it doesn't pass through anyone's private grounds.
On Mon 22 Jun at 9:56pm David Stanley wrote:
If enough people continue to use it eventually it will become difficult to enforce.
On Tue 23 Jun at 8:16pm Formerly AC-T wrote:
I have a feeling that if it can be demonstrated that the public have had an unhindered right of way for given period, a route can become a RoW by deafult.
I've lived in Lewes since 1991 and have used that road a few times a year up until relatively recently. If anyone fancies challenging the residents claim that it isn't a RoW, I'll happily give evidence to that effect.
On Wed 24 Jun at 4:52pm Pedant wrote:
If uninterrupted use, of least 20 years, by the public without force or express permission of the landowner can be proved then it is possible to establish right of way under section 31 of the Highways Act 1980.
On Fri 26 Jun at 9:11am Sara wrote:
Very interesting, I didn't know it could be challenged. Sounds like the RoW dept needs a phonecall!
On Fri 26 Jun at 9:11am Sara wrote:
Very interesting, I didn't know it could be challenged. Sounds like the RoW dept needs a phonecall!
On Fri 26 Jun at 12:48pm Formerly AC-T wrote:
Nice work, Pedant, I have definitely used the road "unhindered" for more than 20 years.
When the guy who used to own the gallops tried to fence off Landport Bottom, there was a lot of evidence gathering done and a legal challenge on exactly that basis. When it became clear that it would succeed, he decided to sell and that's how it came to be public amenity land.
On Sun 28 Jun at 2:21pm Unconvinced wrote:
Well, that convincingly explains why Landport Bottom is completely unfenced and is crisscrossed with public rights of way recorded on the ESCC Definitive Map!
On a more practical note: the ability to claim a route as a public way after 20 years of uninterrupted use is based upon the assumption of "deemed dedication" by the landowner rather than as a reward for trespassers. To counter a claim a landowner has simply to show that he/she had no intention of dedicating the route and took some action to make this clear. This could be occasionally challenging unauthorised users (which has clearly happened here), lodging a landowner statement with ESCC or displaying a notice of some form. Given that the Landport Bottom Road name sign clearly says "Private Road" that would appear to have been more than satisfied!
Should some of the commentators choose to press ahead with a claim however they should be aware that ESCC may take several years to process the claim and I believe have stopped accepting new claims because of Covid-19.
On Sun 28 Jun at 4:43pm Unconvinced wrote:
My mistake - Landport Farm Road rather than Landport Bottom Road.
On Tue 30 Jun at 8:48pm Formerly AC-T wrote:
@Unconvinced: there are gates in the fences and the fences are only there to keep the sheep in! There are no restrictions on public access.
When the previous owner fenced it, it was to keep the public out, not sheep in.
Apologies for not making this clear.

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