Public rights of way

Information for landowners

Any landowner may dedicate a right of way across his or her land by agreement with the Council.

Dedication of a public right of way

Under the Highways Act 1980 a highway is dedicated where there is evidence that it has been used by the public as of right of way for 20 years, unless there is evidence that there was never intention to dedicate it.

Evidence may consist of notices, barriers or by locking a gate across the path on one day in the year and drawing this to the attention of the public. A statement and plan together with a statutory declaration that no additional ways other than those specifically acknowledged as being legal have been dedicated as highways since the date of the deposit can also be used.

Section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980 enables a landowner to deposit a statement and plan with the highway authority showing the ways, if any, he admits are dedicated as highways. A subsequent statutory declaration within 10 years (to change on 1 October to a 20 year period) and succeeding periods of 10 (20) declaring that the landowner admits no other public rights of way will protect the landowner against claims made solely on use. It is important to note that this does not protect the landowner from any preceding periods of claim nor will it overcome any claims based on documentary evidence.

From 1 October 2013 these deposits are known as Highway Statement and Declarations. New deposits will be registered and can be viewed on the online Gazetteer below.

A Notice of the deposit will also be served on site and by email to anyone who has requested they receive notification. The Council is permitted to charge a fee for the service which is £150 but this may be reviewed. You must use the regulation forms which are available from the Public Rights of Way team at:

  • Highway Depot, Guilden Sutton Lane, Guilden Sutton CH3 7EX

Town and village greens

Information about how to register a town and village green can be found on the Gov.UK website.