Rights Of Way Changes Proposed In Deregulation Bill

Rights Of Way Changes Proposed In Deregulation Bill

03.01.2014

The government has announced new proposals which would see changes made to the rules surrounding public rights of way, giving homeowners an opportunity to divert such routes away from their property, according to reports.

A spokesperson for Environment Secretary Owen Paterson told The Times that the measures included in the Deregulation Bill were designed to simplify regulations in relation to rights of way and were being created in consultation with various groups, including the National Farmers Union and the Ramblers Association.

Under the plans, property owners would be able to ask for a public path to be diverted so it goes around a property rather than through it, with such requests expected to be given approval under statutory guidance.

A public right of way can be created by using a route or pathway over a long period of time.

News of the move has come following campaigning by residential groups which have stated that the use of such routes on private land have caused major issues for some landowners in recent years.

Expert Opinion
The Deregulation Bill is part of the government’s attempt to cut unnecessary bureaucracy. One effect of the Bill would be to alter the way in which public rights of way are recorded and modified, with an emphasis on devolving the decision making process to a more local level.

"The Bill proposes many changes, from establishing a new system for determining Definitive Map modification applications to providing extra protection to already-recorded rights of way which are the subject of an application to delete it from the Definitive Map.

"Rights of way can be a complex area of law and we have seen numerous cases when issues related to such matters have led to costly and time-consuming legal battles.

"The changes are likely to affect and benefit both users of public rights of way and landowners and so it will be interesting to see how the changes, if implemented, will work and apply to two interested parties whose objectives often conflict with one another."
Danny Revitt, Partner