AT Thursday’s Planning committee meeting, councillors will decide whether to divert a public path which goes through a farm near Forden.

If councillors refuse the path diversion, which goes for nearly a kilometre, building a barn to extend the dairy farm there will be stymied.

In April an application to build a barn at Severnside Farm, part of PCC’s farm estate, was approved. The barn would help the tenant increase milk production.

A report which will be considered by the committee explains that the proposed new route of footpath 29 starts at a junction with the U2467 unclassified public highway at OS (Ordnance Survey) grid reference SJ 2187,0181.

In total there are eight points of reference for the new path which would see the diversion finish at OS grid reference SJ 2212, 0262,

The final path diversion length would be 966 metres long and two metres wide.

The council as applicant would need to put in a gate as well as a board walk over a watercourse on the new path.

In June, a pre-order consultation was carried out and there were no objections made against the proposal.

Head of Housing and Community Development, Nina Davies, said in the report: “Planning permission has been granted for the erection of an extension to the existing livestock building to accommodate a farm office, dairy and associated machinery that will lie on the line of footpath 29.

“As such and as the development is not ‘substantially complete,’ it is considered that the legal criteria for making the diversion order are met.

“If a diversion is made, opposed and submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, the inspector could consider wider issues, including the suitability of the proposed new route, in deciding whether the order should be confirmed or not.

“However they will not re-open the matter of the planning merits of the development itself.”

Councillors on the committee have a couple of options.

If they decide not to make the order – the development which has been given planning permission could not be built as it would obstruct the path.

Approve the diversion order, which officers recommend.

Mrs Davies adds: “As the proposal meets the legal criteria, it is proposed that a diversion order be made.”