New guidance for diverting and extinguishing public rights of way

Following requests from the CLA, new presumptions guidance has been announced by Defra for diverting and extinguishing public rights of way
Gate by property

The CLA has recently had another big win when it comes to public rights of way. Sitting on a government body called the ‘Stakeholder Working Group’ for many years now, we have been putting the case forward for landowners, farmers and occupiers, to find workable ways forward in the maze of highways law. As you can imagine with the CLA and a broad spectrum of user groups including the Open Spaces Society and the Ramblers, there isn’t always agreement in these discussions, but progress on both sides has been made.

One area which will be a significant step forward for CLA members was Defra agreeing statutory guidance, which we hope will make securing diversions and extinguishments a simpler process.

The guidance aims to give councils more scope to push on with diversion and extinguishment orders where a public right of way runs through the garden of a family home, a working farmyard or some other commercial premises. It acknowledges the impact it can have on the landowner and also recognises many members of the public who would prefer not to be going through such places – not least because of the associated risks that can come from walking in such business areas when heavy machinery is in operation. Inspectors appointed by the Secretary of State will take the guidance into account and apply it to their decision making too.

If privacy, security or safety are an issue with a public right of way that you wish to divert, please contact the CLA for more details and advice.

Key contact:

Andrew Gillett
Andrew Gillett Chief Legal Adviser, London