Protect land against new rights of way and village greens

How the public might acquire rights

There are two types of rights that the public can acquire rights over land:

Highway rights

If there is evidence a route has been enjoyed over your land by the public, as of right, without interruption, for a full period of 20 years, the route is deemed to have been dedicated as a highway.

Town or village green rights

If there is evidence that your land has been enjoyed by the public for lawful sports and pastimes, as of right, without interruption, for a full period of 20 years, the land can then be recorded as a town or village green.

How to protect your land

You need to be able to provide evidence that there was no intention for the land to be used during that period and bring this to the attention of the public.

Evidence may consist of:

  • the erection of barriers
  • locked gates
  • signage or notices
  • deposit of a statutory statement or declaration

Statutory declarations

A landowner may deposit with the highway authority a map, statement and statutory declaration showing the ways (if any) that he admits are highways, and any land that he admits being village green.

Please note:

  • a deposit cannot take away claims based on past use or claims based on documentary evidence
  • in order for the highways declaration to be effective you cannot simultaneously deposit a highways statement and lodge a highways declaration in relation to the same land.

These documents be viewed in our register of landowner deposits.

Fees

Item(s) Fee

CA16 combined highway and landowner statement to protect against future highway and village green use (maximum 4 parcels of land)

Additional parcel of land £32.89

£338.43

CA16 Highway statement to protect against highway use only (maximum 4 parcels of land)

Additional parcel of land £16.44

£213.24

Highway declaration

£32.89

How to apply

A landowner must:

  1. complete a CA16 statement (parts A, B, E, F and part D if protecting against village green use)
  2. create a map that shows the extent of the land and what rights (if any) you admit exist over it
  3. send this to [email protected] or to the below address
  4. send a cheque with the correct fee payable to 'Buckinghamshire Council' to:
    The Definitive Map and Highway Searches Team
    Buckinghamshire Council
    Floor 7
    Walton Street Offices
    Aylesbury
    HP20 1UY

GOV.UK provides guidance on how to complete a CA16 form.

Next steps

Within 20 years of submitting a highways statement you need to deposit a highways declaration (part C of the CA16 form).

This confirms that you did not dedicate any additional routes over the land, or only those mentioned in the declaration since the date of the highways statement.

Contact the rights of way team