Q&As

Structures across a public right of way amount to an obstruction unless a right of way has been originally dedicated subject to them as recorded on the definitive map or permission has been granted for them by the Highway Authority. Are there any circumstances when permission can be presumed or deemed to have been granted where a structure has been in place for many years but is not recorded on the definitive map and no formal permission granted?

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Published on LexisPSL on 15/07/2016

The following Local Government Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Structures across a public right of way amount to an obstruction unless a right of way has been originally dedicated subject to them as recorded on the definitive map or permission has been granted for them by the Highway Authority. Are there any circumstances when permission can be presumed or deemed to have been granted where a structure has been in place for many years but is not recorded on the definitive map and no formal permission granted?
  • Background
  • Definitive map modification
  • Obstructions

Structures across a public right of way amount to an obstruction unless a right of way has been originally dedicated subject to them as recorded on the definitive map or permission has been granted for them by the Highway Authority. Are there any circumstances when permission can be presumed or deemed to have been granted where a structure has been in place for many years but is not recorded on the definitive map and no formal permission granted?

Background

Public rights of way (PROW) are highways that allow the public a legal right of passage. They have the same status and protection in law as highways and remain in existence until legally closed, diverted or extinguished. It is a criminal offence to obstruct a PROW.

A definitive map is a legally conclusive record of the public rights of way in one of four categories (footpath, bridleway, road used as a public path or byway open to all traffic) shown on it at the date the map was produced, known as the relevant date. The map is accompanied by a statement that describes each right of way in greater or lesser detail.

For further information, see

  1. Public rights of way and definitive maps—overview

  2. Practice Note:

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