Public Path Orders
Public Path Orders (PPOs) change the definitive map by diverting, creating or extinguishing paths
County, District/Borough Councils, or National Park Authorities issue Public Path Orders. They are usually made under the Highways Act 1980 or the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
- Changing the route of a path
Diversion Orders change the route of a path on the definitive map.
A proposal must meet certain requirements set out in Section 119 of the Highways Act 1980. It must be in the interests of the owner, occupier, or lessee of the land crossed by the right of way. In making a decision we will consider distance, views, gradient and accessibility. We will also take into account the public’s enjoyment of the path and the effect of the diversion on other land.
Diversion orders can also be made under different legislation to:
- enable development to take place, under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990
- improve safety at rail crossings
- protect conservation interests
- improve school security
- reduce crime
An applicant may have to pay compensation to anyone whose land loses value as a result of the diversion.
Priority is given to diversions that improve access as highlighted in our Countryside Access Plans.
We charge the applicant for:
- the time we spend processing an application
- the actual cost of advertising the diversion in the local press
If an order is opposed we may decide to refer it to the Secretary of State for determination, in which case we will bear any subsequent costs. We may also decide not to progress the order.
An applicant may be required to pay compensation to anyone whose land is devalued as a result of the diversion.
We can require an applicant to enter into an agreement with us to pay these costs and expenses.
To apply for a diversion, first contact us for advice on your proposal.
We operate a waiting list for new applications. Applications are scored and processed depending on public benefit.
- Add a path
Dedication and creation orders add a path to the definitive map.
It is important that our rights of way network meets the needs of the people who may wish to use them. Our Countryside Access Plans form the basis of our work towards this goal. They include creating new rights of way where needed.
As a landowner you can dedicate new public rights across your land to benefit the public, for example:
- a new path, linking existing paths to avoid roads, can contribute towards a safer and more enjoyable network
- increasing the width of a path or creating extra rights on existing routes can improve accessibility
We will be responsible for putting up signage and, in most cases, maintain the path to an agreed standard.
Contact us to dedicate a new path, or upgrade existing rights.
The County Council can create a new right of way if there is a proven need. This may be required when a landowner does not own all of the land over which they are dedicating public rights. District Councils also have the power to make creation orders.
- Remove a path
Extinguishment orders remove paths from the definitive map under section 118 of the Highways Act 1980. A public path can only be removed if you can show that the path is not needed for public use.
It is not possible to extinguish a path by blocking it or preventing use. It still exists in law until a formal extinguishment order is made.
District Councils also have the power to make extinguishment orders to enable development to take place.
If you want to apply to remove a path, we recommend you contact us first.