Public Footpaths, Bridleways and Roads
Public footpaths, bridleways and roads often need diverting or closing and new ones created, for example, to accommodate new development via a formal ‘Order’.
Applications for an Order are considering in the context of our adopted Rights of Way Improvement Plan.
The effect of any new development on the footpath / bridleway will also be considered as part of a planning application, along with any objections we receive.
- Any planning application that affects a public right of way / bridleway must be advertised on site and in the local newspaper.
- Even if planning permission is granted for a development affecting a footpath / bridleway, this does not mean it can be interfered with, obstructed or moved until a formal ‘Order’ has been confirmed.
- It is a criminal offence to obstruct or otherwise interfere with the highway or any public right of way without the authority to do so.
Detailed procedures for making an order are contained in the document at the bottom of the page. There are different procedures for stopping up a highway and for stopping up or diverting a footpath / bridleway. Where development will involve a road closure or diversion, any order application will be sent to the Department for Transport following planning approval.
After the order has been confirmed, you must construct the new route in accordance with the details of the order and to the satisfaction of the highway authority before doing anything to the old route. Only then will the legal route of the path transfer to the new one.
You will normally have to pay for making the Order. This includes
- Legal Services Costs
- Advertisement Costs in the press at draft and confirmation stage
- Administrative Costs
- Diverted route (if applicable)
These guidance notes are essential reading for anyone involved with a new development that may affect a public right of way. They outline how we consider whether planning permission should be granted, whether the site or property has any highway / public right of way over or adjoining it, and how these public rights should be lawfully treated.
Last updated : 19th March 2013