Public Rights of Way

When planning any new development, it is crucial to consider Public Rights of Way (not only those that are already recorded on the Definitive Map, but also claimed routes and opportunities to create new routes) from the outset. If overlooked, Public Rights of Way issues can arise and result in significant delays later in the process – even rendering properties unsaleable. Legal powers exist to allow for the demolition of buildings that obstruct Public Rights of Way.

Public Rights of Way can only be altered by a Legal Order, even if changes are only temporary. Planning permission alone does not give the right to interfere with, obstruct or divert a Public Right of Way. Because of the legal processes involved it is essential that early discussion takes place – ideally before an application is submitted. Path networks form an integral part of any large development by providing a functional and sustainable link to shops, services, schools and the recreational opportunities of the countryside. With careful consideration, they can prove a very positive asset to a development.


Page updated: 10/01/2018


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