Make a rights of way application

5/26/2021 4:04:47 PM

To make an application of change to the public rights of way map you will need to apply for an 'order'.

How to apply will vary based on the type of order you require. There are four types of orders available.


Modification Order

A Modification Order will:

  • add a right of way where it is shown to exist but not recorded on the map
  • alter the status of a right of way
  • delete a right of way where it is shown to be included on the map in error
  • record a width in the Definitive Statement

If the path is not recorded as a public right of way it can be claimed as a public right of way if there is evidence that public rights have been established. After 20 years use of a way by the public, the way is deemed to have been dedicated as a public right of way unless there is sufficient evidence that the landowner did not intend that it should be so. The way must have been used without interruption and without the permission of the landowner.

You can make an application to record the path as a public right of way, and the Definitive Map team will investigate the evidence. Anyone may apply to us for a modification order to be made. Please read the notes before submitting an application.

A landowner may also dedicate a public right of way by means of a Creation Agreement. Please contact us for further information: The Definitive Map Team, Buckinghamshire Council, Walton Street Offices, Aylesbury, HP20 1UY. Telephone: 01296 395000.


Public Path Order

A Public Path Order will:

  • divert an existing right of way where this is in the interests of the applicant or of the public as a whole and the new route is not substantially less convenient for users
  • extinguish an existing right of way where it shows that the right of way is no longer needed for public use

The process of diverting or closing a right of way is a public one. Public path diversions under the Highways Act 1980 should not be significantly less convenient than the current route or less enjoyable for members of the public to use. 

Submitting a plan

Before you can apply for a Public Path Order you will first need to submit a plan showing the proposal. If the proposal appears to meet the legal criteria then a Rights of Way Officer and Definitive Map Officer will carry out a site visit to look at the proposal and discuss it with you in more detail. 

How to apply

There is a charge for making public path orders.

You can apply online for a diversion or extinguishment below but please make sure you consult with a right of way officer first. You will be expected to cover our costs in processing any application which is listed below:

  • £259.56 non-returnable deposit (to cover initial consultations)
  • A further £2266.51 when (and if) an Order is made
  • The actual cost of associated newspaper advertisements (one advertising the making of the order and a second one to notify the confirmation of the order, if the order is confirmed)
  • The cost of any new roadside signage ((£163.91), new waymark posts (£135.50) and the removal of old signage (£124.57)


Apply Online

It is an offence to physically divert or close a path, even temporarily, without lawful authority and anyone who does so runs the risk of action being taken against them. A diversion or extinguishment of a public right of way can arise only out of legal action by either a local authority, magistrates court or a government department or through an Act of Parliament.


Under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, it is possible to divert footpaths for up to 14 days to allow agricultural operations with the consent of the council and provided an alternative route is well signed and advertised at least 7 days earlier in a local newspaper. Your local Rights of Way Officer will be able to provide more information.


Sites of Special Scientific Interest Diversion Order (SSSI)

An SSSI will:

  • conserve and protect the best of England's wildlife, geological and physiographical heritage.

We may make an SSSI Diversion Order where public use is causing or is likely to cause significant damage to flora, fauna, geological or physiographical features by reason of which the SSSI is so designated.

Only Natural England may apply for orders under this legislation. Read more about Special SSSI orders (via


Temporary Traffic Regulation Order

A Temporary Traffic Regulation Order will:

  • temporarily prohibit through vehicular traffic from using a highway
  • protect the pedestrian use and rights of access to properties along the affected highway

Anyone may apply for a temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TRO). 

Find more information on the Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders page.



Please email our Rights of Way Team for an application form

User evidence form for a Definitive Map Modification Order (177 Kb)

Guidance notes for the extinguishment or diversion of a public right of way (25 Kb)

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