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Public Path Orders

We have a selection of powers available to alter the routes of public paths under the Highways Act and the Town and Country Planning Act.

Public Rights of Way can only be diverted, stopped or created by a Public Path Order.

There are several types of order making powers that are used by us and these include:

  • the diversion of a path where it is in the interest of the landowner (S119 Highways Act 1980)
  • the removal of a path (S116/S118 Highways Act 1980)
  • the creation of a new length of path (S25/26 Highways Act 1980)
  • the diversion, creation and removal of a path to allow development to take place (S257/S258/S261 Town and Country Planning Act 1990).

Applicants are expected to fill in the appropriate application form (available from the related documents section).

Before you make an application we strongly advise you to talk to a member of the Rights of Way team.

Charges for Public Path Orders

With effect from the 12 September 2016 we have revised our charges for the promotion of Orders under the Highways Act 1980 and the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The full report and explanation of the revised charges is attached to this page.

Charges will be passed to the applicant based on a rechargeable hourly rate. We will not be able to provide an applicant with an estimated cost for the promotion of an order. Applicants should be aware that the total cost will be made up of the following components:

  • The administration of the application.
  • Advertising associated with the promotion of the order. These costs are at the normal advertising rate in the local press.
  • On the ground works that may be required to being the alternative path(s) in to a suitable condition for use and adoption by us. These would normally be carried out by the applicant at the applicants expense.
  • Inspection of any bridges, culverts and retaining walls on the alternative route.

Paths affected by development

Where an application is received to divert a path where development has obstructed the path the full cost of the application will be recharged.

We may reduce fees on request where an application meets the following criteria:


  • To qualify for a reduction in fees the applicant shall demonstrate to us that there has been a crime or attempted crime on the premises which can be attributed to the presence of the path. This should be supported by a police incident number.
  • Perceived problems will not be accepted as a reason to reduce fees.

Public safety

The application for a reduction of fees where public safety is a concern shall be supported by a risk assessment. It must demonstrate that there is a risk to the public.

The addition, removal and modification of paths in the definitive map and statement (S53 Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981)

We have a duty to process certain types of orders where allegations have been brought to our attention that a path may exist that is not shown in the definitive map and statement or may be incorrectly recorded.

Register of applications

We maintain a list of applications to modify the definitive map and statement in accordance with the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 - Rights of Way - Modifications Orders


If I apply to divert a right of way, how long will it take?

We aim to determine your application within four months from the receipt of a valid application.

Completion of your application will depend on the resources available at the time and whether your application goes to a public inquiry.

Will I be charged if my application goes to a public inquiry?

No. We will cover the cost of the inquiry, however, you will still be eligible for the charges.

If you decide to represent yourself or have legal support you will be expected to pay for this yourself.

Should I make the alternative route available whilst my application is being processed?

There is no requirement for you to do this until the actual order is ready to be confirmed.

You will be informed when this happens.

I have decided I want a different route to the one you recommend. Will you accept the application?

We will advise you of the likely success of your application.

If it meets the criteria stipulated with the legislation then we will process your application.

If it does not meet the criteria then we will advise you why and we may reject your application.

I have been asked to provide a route that is as barrier free as possible. What does this mean?

We aim to create a barrier free environment which means few or no stiles or gates on the route.

If my land management practices change in the future can I erect a stile or put in a gate in the future?

You may only do this with our consent. See stiles and gates for more information.