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  • Overview

    Landowners affected by a public right of way crossing their land can apply to the local highway authority seeking an order for its diversion. Applications are made under section 119 of the Highways Act 1980.  This is an option often explored by landowners prior to undertaking development works to a site.

    A public path is either a footpath, a bridleway, or a restricted byway (being  a  path over which the public has a right of way on foot, bicycle, horseback or any vehicle other than a mechanically propelled vehicle).

    A public path diversion order can be issued enabling a path to be diverted where it is shown that it is in the interests of the landowner (or lessee or occupier of the land) or the public to do so provided that (a) the diverted route would not be substantially less convenient to the public and (b) the diversion would not alter any point of termination of the path, other than to another point on the same highway or a connected highway.

     

    Assessing an application to divert

    A landowner should consider the following issues prior to lodging an application with the local highway authority:

    • How similar are the physical features of the new route to the existing route (i.e. the surface, path width and gradient)?
    • Is the new route unreasonably longer?
    • Will any views from the existing route be lost?
    • Is the new route safe and/or suitable for users with limited mobility or parents with pushchairs?
    • Will the new route cost more to maintain?

     

    If the highway authority is satisfied that these issues have been addressed correctly, it can make the order.  Once the order is made, the highway authority must publish a notice in a local newspaper providing information about the notice and allowing the opportunity for interested persons to object.  Notice must also be served on bodies such as the local authority, parish councils, and certain other special interest groups (such as the Ramblers Association and the Open Spaces Society), all of whom also have the opportunity to object.

    A diversion order will usually be confirmed if no objections have been made or withdrawn.  If there are unresolved objections, the authority cannot confirm the order and the order will often be submitted to the Secretary of State for confirmation (although there is no obligation to do so – indeed the local authority can simply elect to withdraw the order). The Secretary of State will appoint an inspector to determine the matter.

    This process is a useful option to landowners seeking to maximise development potential of land.  However, the process is time consuming and challenging. In order to maximise their prospects of success, landowners are often best served consulting with special interest groups and dealing with responses received prior to lodging the application.

  • Related Services

    Commercial Property & Development

    Our Commercial Property & Development team give commercially orientated advice and ensure a speedily concluded transaction whether you are purchasing, selling or leasing commercial property.

    Property development

    Our team provides specialist expertise in connection with joint venture and partnership arrangements, promotion agreements, the acquisition of strategic land, equalisation agreements and overage/clawback arrangements.

Newsletter sign up

I would like to receive newsletters, event invitations and publications from Thomson Snell & Passmore by email on the following topics (tick all those that apply) and consent for my data to be processed for this purpose.

We respect your privacy and want news to be relevant. To either, click here or update your preferences by emailing us at info@ts-p.co.uk. Your personal data shall be treated in accordance with our & .

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By submitting an enquiry through 'get in touch' your data will only be used to contact you regarding your enquiry. If you would like to receive newsletters from Thomson Snell & Passmore please use the separate form below.

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