Public path orders

​Anyone may apply to the local authorities for the diversion or closure of public rights of way on their land.


Most applications for diversions are either to allow for more convenient farming practice or development which has been granted planning permission. Before we can process a request for a diversion we must be satisfied that:

  • It is in the interest of either the public, the owner, lessee or occupier of the land.
  • The new route must terminate at another point on the same path or a highway connected with it.
  • The new route must be substantially as convenient for the public.
  • There will not be a negative effect on public enjoyment of the path or way as a whole.
  • Any work needed to bring the condition of new routes up to an acceptable standard will normally be required of the applicant.


Most applications for the closure of public rights of way are on the grounds that the path or way is not needed for public use. With the increasing use of the rights of way network, such proposals are normally opposed and so it is difficult for them to succeed.

If a diversion or extinguishment of a public right of way is required to enable a development to take place, (in accordance with planning permission) applications are processed by the council who granted the planning permission (usually the District or Borough Councils).

How do I apply?

If you would like to apply to divert or extinguish a public right of way it is advised, although not mandatory, to consult widely with:

  • the local group of the Ramblers' Association
  • the British Horse Society (if seeking to amend a bridleway) 
  • the Parish Council

The cost of a public path order is outlined in the definitive map team standard charges below:

Should you require any assistance please email

Please note we cannot guarantee that an application will be successful. When an application is received we carefully consider whether we feel it meets the requirements of the relevant Act and take into account any comments or objections received at the consultation stage before deciding whether to make an order.

If the delegated officer decides that an order should be made and sustained objections are received we are unable to confirm the order ourselves to bring it into operation. Matters such as these require submission to the Planning Inspectorate to determine which may be written representation, or hold a local hearing or public inquiry.

Costs increase dramatically at this stage and we are currently unable to recover these costs from the applicant. We are therefore very unlikely to pursue an opposed order.