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Most applications for diversions are either to allow for more convenient farming practice or the construction of development which has been granted planning permission. In the former case the applicant has to show that the diversion would be in their or the public’s interest, or both. However, the council, in agreeing to process the application (it is a power and not a duty), has to be sure that the new route will be substantially as convenient to the public. It also has to take account of the effect of the diversion on public enjoyment of the path or way as a whole.

The route of a public right of way must not be moved unless the change has first been authorised by a legal order. This is known as a diversion order. This can only be made by the relevant Highway Authority or the Secretary of State. We will process your application with administrative and advertising costs normally charged to the applicant.

Any work needed to bring the condition of new routes up to an acceptable standard will normally be required of the applicant, although the legally required signposts may be supplied by the council.

For public benefit

The council can initiate diversion proposals which will benefit the public, from a recreational viewpoint, and the landowner. In such cases the council will meet the costs of processing the orders.

Sometimes schemes involve closure of old, little-used paths when new rights of way are created nearby which will be useful to the public.

New footpaths and bridleways can be established by a landowner by entering into ‘creation agreements’ with the council.

Contact Information

Parks and Countryside

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