Move or close a public right of way

Under the Highways Act 1980 and Town and Country Planning Act 1990, landowners can apply to move a path to an alternative route or close a path or way altogether.

Rights of way are legally recorded as public highways, and any changes must go through a legal process.

We recommend contacting us before you apply.

Conditions for moving or closing a public right of way

We will only consider an application if it meets the following legal conditions:

  • it's necessary to allow development (if planning permission has been granted)
  • the diversion benefits the landowner or occupier
  • the diversion benefits the public
  • the public does not use the path (closure only)
  • Highways Act 1980 diversions should not be significantly less convenient or enjoyable than the current route

It is an offence to divert or close a path physically, even temporarily, without lawful authority from us. Anyone who does runs the risk of action being taken against them.

Costs involved

You will be expected to meet the following costs as a part of the application:

Initial consultation fee Public Path Order fee Advertising notices in local newspapers Cost of new signage Cost to remove old signage


This is a non-returnable deposit


Charged when (and if) an Order is made

We'll need to make 2 advertisements. One for making of the order and one to notify the confirmation of the order.

A third advert might be required if the bringing into effect is done at a later date following confirmation.

Costs associated with advertising could exceed £1,800.

£197 for new roadside signage

£163 for new waymark posts


How to apply

You will need to:

  • submit a plan and details of the proposal to: [email protected]
  • complete the online Public Path Order form after contact has been made with the rights of way officer
  • provide proof of ownership of affected land (up to date official copies of Land Registry entries)
  • written confirmation from everyone with an interest in affected land, or details of consents still required
  • provide written agreement to any necessary work required to bring the new path into use of everyone with an interest in the land connected to the proposed path

How we'll advertise the notice

If the application is accepted an Order will be made, we will then advertise the Order by:

  • placing a notice of the Order in the local newspaper for 7 days
  • putting a notice of the Order up at the beginning and end of the affected path or way

If we receive any comments (representations)

The Order will go through a 28 day consultation period for anyone to comment on. Comments can be for or against the Order.

If we do not receive any comments against the Order, then the Order will be processed

If comments are made against the Order and remain unresolved, we will refer the Order and comments to the Secretary of State for determination.