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Changes to the public rights of way network

Any changes to public rights of way are made via a legal public rights of way order.

Permanent changes

Applications can be made by landowners and developers to make the following changes to the public rights of way network:

  1. Diversion - the permanent re-routing of a footpath or bridleway in the interests of the public, and landowners / occupiers.
  2. Creation - the addition of a new path to the network, usually with the agreement of the landowner (this application is currently unavailable).
  3. Extinguishment - the permanent closing of a footpath or bridleway. This can be applied for by a landowner or initiated by the council. Extinguishments are extremely rare.

New paths can also be created by the council, usually with the agreement of the landowner.

Applications can be made by anyone to make the following type of change, and must be based on evidence that suggests that the change is required:

  1. Modification - this usually involves the addition of routes to the network because a footpath or bridleway is not shown on the definitive map but evidence suggests that it should be. However modifications can also be made to alter or delete footpaths or bridleways from the definitive map.

Temporary changes

Rights of way can be temporarily closed to safeguard users when there are works being carried out in the vicinity of the path or following surface damage. These are usually applied for by landowners. The orders can last for up to six months and may be extended further at the discretion of the Welsh Government. Alternative routes are usually made available during these closures.

Apply to make a permanent change to the public rights of way network

The first step to making a change to the public rights of way network is to make an application based on what type of change you want to make.

Temporary footpath closures

Temporary footpath closures for road works or for the avoidance of danger to the public.

Current public path orders

A list of current public path orders for changes to public rights of way.

Section 53B register

Register of all applications to modify the definitive map and Statement under Section 53(5) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Section 31A register

Under section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980, landowners can submit statements and declarations to us to acknowledge public rights of way across their land and state that they have no intention to dedicate any further public rights of way at that time.
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Last modified on 21 December 2023