Changing a right of way

You can claim a new public right of way by applying for a Modification Order. You can also apply to make changes to existing by applying for a Public Path Order. 

Modification Orders

A claim for a new right of way needs to be based on public use or documentary evidence.

This fact sheet guide gives an overview of the stages of Definitive Map Modification Orders [PDF]

Public Path Orders

Create a new path

We can only create a new path after considering:

  • how it might add to the convenience or enjoyment of a substantial section of the public or of local residents
  • the effect that the creation would have on the rights of those with an interest in the land
  • the effect on agriculture, forestry and nature conservation.

We follow a set of legal procedures when considering an application for this. These are in place to make sure the public are made aware of any changes to the path network, and that everyone has the opportunity to state their views. These opinions are taken into account before a final decision is made.

Change a path

Before we can divert a path, we must be satisfied that:

  • it's in the interests of either the public, the owner, lessee or occupier of the land
  • the diversion brings the public to another point on the same path or another highway connected to it; and it must be as convenient to the public to use this alternative route
  • there won’t be a negative effect on public enjoyment of the path as a whole, on other land served by the existing path and on land affected by any proposed new path.

Remove a path

Before making an order to stop a path being used by the public, we must be satisfied that:

  • it’s not needed for public use
  • there's no negative effect on the land served by the path, taking into account the provisions for compensation.

We’ll have to disregard any temporary circumstances that prevent or reduce public use of the path, such as overgrown weeds, lack of street lighting, or illegal use by mini motos.

Gating Orders

We have the power to make Gating Orders in circumstances where recorded crime and anti-social behaviour can be significantly reduced by stopping access along a footpath, bridleway, ginnel or similar.

Contact us

If you'd like to discuss adding or making changes to a right of way, please contact us.

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