Services for rural

Public Rights of Way and Highways

The existence, or alleged existence, of public rights of way can cause a variety of challenges for landowners and developers.  We are here to advise and assist you on the most appropriate course of action for your circumstances, taking into account your overall objectives and ancillary considerations.

Public rights of way, in the form of public footpaths and bridlepaths for example, can provide an excellent way for members of the public to enjoy our beautiful countryside.  However, there are occasions where landowners or developers may wish to divert or delete existing public rights of way from the Definitive Map.  We can advise on and assist with this process, whether it be an application under the Highways Act 1980 or the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Should you find yourself as landowner in the position of having to object to an application for a new public right of way, we can guide you through this process offering you advice and support on the procedure and evidential requirements to defend an application.

We also understand the importance of protecting land from unwanted claims for public rights of way.  Preventing a claim is always preferable to defending one, but it is important to take the correct course of action so as not to instigate an unwanted claim.  We can assist with a procedure known as a ‘Section 31(6) Notice’ but we will also assess whether this is the most appropriate method of protecting your property and advise on any other appropriate methods.    

Hannah Taylor, a member of mfg’s Agricultural and Rural Affairs Division, has particular experience of dealing with these types of matters and would be happy to discuss any concerns you have.