Changing the network
The Definitive Map and Statement can be modified in the three
Add, remove or change a public right of way based on
View the current
register of applications under Section 53 (5) of the Wildlife and
Countryside Act 1981 (PDF, 46k) or download an
application form and guidance notes (PDF, 72k).
Anyone can apply to amend the Definitive Map and Statement under
the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 if they have evidence of use
or previous existence.
An application may be made for a number of reasons. Some
examples of situations where applications may be made are listed
- There are often cases where paths that are not recorded on the
Definitive Map actually exist on the ground, and have been openly
used and enjoyed by the public for a considerable time
- A public right of way recorded as a public footpath may have
been used for 20 years or more as a public bridleway and the
claimant may wish to amend its status
- Evidence may exist to show that a path recorded on the
Definitive Map is not public; a route is shown on the wrong line;
or a route should be more precisely defined.
Add or change a public right of way by agreement or by
Highways Act 1980, it is possible to create public footpaths,
bridleways and restricted byways or change the status of an
existing route by agreement with the landowner. A formal agreement
will only be considered if there is a public need.
It is also possible to create paths by order where Kent
County Council considers there is a need for one. The council must
consider the extent to which the footpath, bridleway or restricted
byway adds to the convenience of local people.
The county council must also consider the effect the creation
would have on the landowner and anybody with a right over the
Divert or remove a public right of way
current register of applications (PDF, 47k) made under the
Highways Act 1980 and Town and Country Planning Act 1990 or
download notes on
how to make an application (PDF, 110k).
The Highways Act 1980 allows the line of a right of way to be
diverted. There are strict legal tests to be met and proven to do
- the proposal must be in the interest of the landowner or the
- the proposal must not impact on public enjoyment and
A public right of way may be extinguished if it is no longer
needed for public use.
and Rights of Way Act 2000 gave the county council new powers
to process path change orders that meet new criteria relating to
school security and the protection of Sites of Special Scientific
and Country Planning Act 1990 allows rights of way to be
diverted to enable development to take place, for example, new
buildings and mineral extraction. These diversions are made by
the planning authority which granted planning permission, usually
the district or borough council.
Kent County Council makes a charge for processing landowner
benefiting diversions and there is no guarantee that any diversion
or extinguishment will be successful.
For more information
To make an application or if you have an enquiry, please contact
the Public Rights of Way and Access Service on 01622 221568.