Footpaths

Footpath Diversion Orders

Footways and bridleways are 'public rights of way'.

This means the public has the right to use them unless they are closed or diverted by law. It is an offence to divert or close a public right of way without lawful authority.

Further information is available from the Countryside service at Oxfordshire County Council Oxfordshire County Council This link will take you to an external website... on 01865 810226 or by email to: countryside@oxfordshire.gov.uk

The District Council as a planning authority, has the powers to deal with applications to divert or close public rights of way under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

The Council must be satisfied that it is necessary for any path to be diverted or extinguished.

Procedure

On receipt of an application, Legal and democratic services (see contact section of this page) will undertake preliminary consultations with the local parish council, the highway authority, the local district councillor(s), public utilities and local amenity societies, to seek their views.

If any objections are raised, the Council will endeavour to resolve the objection with the applicant and the objector prior to making an Order. A report will then be submitted to the Council's Planning Committee for consideration. If it is approved, the Order will be made, and notice served on the applicant and published in the local press. Notices will also be placed at each end of the path affected and all consultees advised of the making of the Order.

Objections can be made to the Order within 6 weeks from the date of publication of the notice. At the end of this period, provided no objection has been raised, the Council may confirm the Order. If any objections to the Order are received following publication of the notice, the Council cannot confirm the Order and must submit it to the Secretary of State for determination. This situation may lead to the holding of a public inquiry.

When the Order is confirmed, a further notice will be published in the local press and at each end of the path advising that diversion or closure can take place.

Costs

Applicants for diversion/extinguishment orders are required to pay the full costs of making an Order. This includes any costs associated with the employment of consultants, statutory adverts placed in local newspapers and up to £500 to cover administration and miscellaneous costs.

For advice on diverting or closing a path, please contact Legal and democratic services (see contacts section of this page).

Last reviewed: 15 - 09 - 2017

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