We have now had a final clarification from Mr Alan Timms, Paralegal of Essex County Council, please see below. This has now been taken out of Brightlingsea Town Council’s hands, and any enquiries are to be directed to Essex County Council’s Paralegal Team.
“Dear Ms Pulford
Following upon the meeting on Thursday with your Council’s Mayor and two councillors I have now written to Mr Humm as promised.
You will note the view of the Council that it has found no evidence to support the existence of a highway of any particular category at The Hard.
In connection with your earlier questions, such a highway if it had been found to exist would have been maintainable by the highway authority only if it was a public road predating 1835, a road built dedicated and adopted since that date, or a public right of way which existed before 1949.
The fact that the land over which the highway being alleged is in the ownership of the Town Council is not challenged. The Town Council’s involvement would then have been to maintain a public right of way or highway passing over their land if it was not maintainable by the highway authority. You should be aware that a public right of way even if maintainable by the highway authority can also be maintained by a parish council.
Alan Timms | Paralegal
Essex Legal Services | Essex County Council