Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Section 257 – Diversion or extinguishment of a public right of way

An application may be made under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, S257 to divert or stop up a footpath, bridleway or restricted byway to allow a development that has planning consent to take place. In making the application the applicant should be aware that the highway authority must take the following factors into account:

  • that it is necessary to divert or stop up the path in accordance with a planning permission granted by the local planning authority under Part III of the Act
  • the disadvantage or loss likely to arise as a result of the stopping up or diversion to members of the public generally, or to persons whose properties adjoin or are near the existing highway, weighed against the advantages of the proposed stopping up or diversion
  • the need for an alternative highway to be provided
  • that the development affecting the route has not already been carried out
  • even where a proposed planning application has not yet been submitted to the planning authority, it is strongly recommended that to avoid delays, proposals for the right of way are discussed as soon as possible. This will allow any Order to be made as soon as possible after planning permission is granted and hence avoid delay to the applicant.

How to Apply:

An application can be made by submitting a S257 application form and a scale 1:2500 map. Download the S257 application form to apply. Copies of maps can be obtained by contacting 01952 384555. A small fee is payable. Details are available upon request.

Please view the information in the sections below to help make the application process quicker.

This information will be needed for all applications:

  • details of the individual/s making the application
  • landowner details (land owned by a business should be completed in the name of the company secretary or a partner)
  • written authority from the applicant confirming that they have instructed the agent making the application on their behalf
  • You will need to provide the reason that you have applied to the Council to make the order on the application form. This has to show how it is in the interest of the owner or occupier of the land, or of the public
  • applicants who do not have sole interest in the land will need details of any other person who has an interest in the land that the new or existing route passes through and written consent from every person who has an interest in the land over which the new or existing route passes
  • planning application reference number.

Your application to divert or extinguish the right of way will not be processed unless you have submitted a planning application or have a current planning approval. On the application form you will have to provide details of the proposed development, including the planning application reference number.

Details of Existing Route

On the application form section please provide a description of the existing Definitive Map route that you are applying to divert/stop up using the guidance below:

  • refer to each section by letter (A-B, C-D etc.). Add the letters to the application map
  • describe each section of the route (e.g. along field edge, following river bank)
  • provide widths for each section of the route, if you do not know the width of any part of the route put “Unknown"
  • include details of any limitations on the public’s right of way along the route, such as gates and stiles, and of any structures, such as bridges which exist on it
  • please supply details of the rights of any Statutory Undertakers (such as electricity, gas and communication suppliers) along each section of the route.

Details of the Proposed Alternative Route

You will have to draw the line of new paths to be created onto the Application Map with a bold dashed line or in a different colour. On the Application Form you will have to provide a description of the proposed alternative route using the guidance below:

  • refer to each section by letter (W-X, Y-Z etc.) and add the letters to the application map
  • the proposed legal width of any new public right of way should be given on the application form. If there are different widths along the new footpath or bridleway please give details section by section. The usual minimum width is two metres wide for a footpath or three metres wide for a bridleway. If the new right of way follows a route with visibly well-defined edges, such as a farm track or a drive then the new public right of way should extend to the full width, in which case please state “full width”
  • you will need to provide details of every location where it is proposed that there will be a limitation to public use, i.e. a stile or gate. In considering the application the Council will consider the needs of people with limited mobility. All gates and stiles cause some level of inconvenience; so please do not include any which are not strictly necessary. The application should provide for the least restrictive gate or stile appropriate to the location as follows:
    • a gap less than the path width (minimum 1.0m wide) – Least restrictive
    • a field gate or bridleway gate (minimum 1.5m wide gate)
    • a standard pedestrian gate (minimum 1.0m wide gate)
    • an easy access kissing gate (minimum 1.0m wide manoeuvring space throughout)
    • a narrow pedestrian gate (minimum 600mm wide gate)
    • a narrow kissing gate (minimum 600mm wide manoeuvring space throughout)
    • a stile (minimum standards apply) – Most restrictive

  • The application map must accurately show the current definitive route of the right of way to which the application relates using a black continuous line.
  • The map should also contain sufficient detail to show the effect of the diversion on any highways or right of way connected to it by accurately detailing these on the Map.

After the Council has confirmed a diversion order under S257, we are still obliged to issue a certificate to state that any required works have been satisfactorily undertaken before the diversion becomes effective. Before we make a diversion order we will identify any works that are required to bring the new path or paths into a fit condition for use by the public. This will include:

  • the minimum acceptable standard for the new path surface taking account of known site issues and any other factors which may not be apparent at the time of application
  • the physical work required to divert a footpath can involve the removal of obstructions, clearing vegetation and overhanging branches, installing bridges and culverts, carrying out drainage works, surface construction and installation of gates. If you intend to carry out any of the necessary work yourself you will have to agree to deliver it according to any specifications we require and within a stated deadline. The Council can, if required, undertake any works which are required and the costs incurred will be charged back to you.

You should be aware that under S257 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, the Council may make an order to stop up or divert a footpath/bridleway only if it is satisfied:

  • that it is necessary to do so to enable development to be carried out in accordance with planning permission granted by the Council under Part III of the Act
  • with regard to the disadvantage or loss likely to arise as a result of the stopping up or diversion to members of the public generally, or to persons whose properties adjoin or are near the existing highway, weighed against the advantages of the proposed stopping up or diversion
  • with regard to the need for an alternative highway to be provided
  • that the development affecting the route has not already been carried out.

On the application form you will need to clearly state the reasons for making the application, explaining how the reasons meet the above criteria.

Last updated: 09/03/2021 12:47

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