Guidance

Ministry of Defence: byelaws review

The Byelaws Review team is carrying out a far reaching overview and update of byelaws as they relate to all MOD sites in the UK.

Overview

Across the defence estate the department has numerous and varied sites ranging from coastal firing ranges to garrisons in urban areas, each with its own set of issues. A byelaws review team has been set up specifically to look at this important area. It is a painstaking and complex exercise which will take several years to complete.

Byelaws are a form of delegated legislation, used mostly by local authorities and government departments; they cover a defined geographical area, normally regulating certain activities in the interests of safety and security. Presently under the provisions of the Military Lands Act 1892 (s14), the Secretary of State for Defence is empowered to make byelaws to regulate the use of land being used for military purposes.

Many of these byelaws date back to the early part of the 20th century and do not reflect subsequent changes within the department or changes of use within sites. Breach of a byelaw is a criminal offence and as such the enforcement of byelaws is one of a number of tools which the department can use to help protect its sites. Equally the presence of byelaws can allow public access over areas of the estate that would otherwise be prohibited.

The review is being conducted in accordance with the principles of open government. In addition to listing all byelaws that have lapsed and those to be reviewed, it advertises proposed new byelaws as they are issued, enabling wider public consultation within the process. After being collated and recorded all responses received during the consultation process are found through this website together with the department’s replies.

As the review proceeds copies of all new byelaws made by the Secretary of State are added to the site under the reviewed byelaws category. The byelaws are also available to download from the UKSI website once made.

It is intended that this byelaws information will be maintained in perpetuity enabling free online public access to all Ministry of Defence byelaws and background material about the review.

MOD byelaws are defined in the following categories:

  • lapsed byelaws
  • revoked byelaws
  • byelaws to be reviewed
  • proposed new byelaws
  • reviewed byelaws

Additional content is added as the review progresses.

Contact details

Defence Infrastructure Organisation
Byelaws Review Team
PO Box 1070
Camberley
GU15 9PZ


Telephone: 01276 412471 (answer phone)

Email: dio-byelawsreviewteam@mod.gov.uk

Byelaws by region

In this section copies of MOD Byelaws are grouped together in their county locations. Each county is then grouped within their region. In order to view a particular byelaw please select a region and then a county to view the available byelaws.

Byelaws documents

Key documents relating to byelaws:

Byelaws consultation process

Reviewed byelaws

Since 2004 the MOD has reviewed existing byelaws, in the process revoking previous byelaws. Please see our list of reviewed byelaws.

Byelaws to be reviewed

Revoked byelaws

Over the years the MOD has reviewed existing byelaws, in the process revoking previous byelaws. The MOD has also revoked byelaws on land that is in the process of being disposed of. This list may be helpful in showing for environmental and historical research those areas of the country once occupied by MOD.

Lapsed byelaws

Over the years the MOD has sold or transferred the freehold or relinquished the leasehold at a significant number of sites that were once the subject of byelaws. In order to give guidance to the public as to which byelaws are recognised as being unenforceable these have been collated on to The National Archives ‘lapsed list’.

This list may also be helpful in showing for environmental and historical research those areas of the country once occupied by MOD. Unfortunately in some cases the department no longer holds copies of the relevant byelaws listed below and consequently in these cases no active hyperlink is in place. It is possible, however, that copies may still be held in local county record offices, but no check has been made by MOD.”

Information held in the National Archives:

Why review the byelaws?

Legal, practical and technological developments have all combined to cause the review of all the MOD byelaws. Some of the main issues are as follows:

  • changes in the operational use of a range may have changed the range danger area rendering the byelaws out-of-date
  • changes in rights of access to the countryside in England and Wales, particularly as a result of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000
  • changes to access in Scotland. There is a statutory requirement in the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 for all byelaws to be reviewed. There is a statutory requirement to then change byelaws to meet the requirements of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code
  • changes in de-facto public access need to be considered and incorporated in the byelaws if appropriate
  • voluntary land registration has resulted in an examination of title issues and a check that MOD is operating byelaws on land which it owns, leases and licences
  • improvements in mapping technology and a relaxation in security concerns mean that we can produce better plans to attach to byelaws to make them clearer(We have noted the comments by judges that additional clarity in mapping and boundary markers would be desirable in certain cases)
  • we need to make small changes to some of the standard wording to match changes in other legislation and refer to new MOD operational structures
  • we need to clarify our control over vehicles on MOD private land and to clearly define our borders with public highways

Sites affected by SOCAP

A number of sites are subject to designations under the provisions of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (SOCAP). MOD wishes to align the byelaws with the SOCAP designations. Enforcement of SOCAP regulations and byelaws is often undertaken by the ‘Ministry of Defence Police (MDP)’.

As part of the review MOD is seeing if it can align byelaws with other statutory instruments such as Dockyard Port Orders. This will ensure greater clarity on where one set of rules on access apply and when other legislation applies.

Public access to military areas

The DIO and the Defence Training Estate

Military ranges firing notices

Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCAP): MOD Sites

Published 12 December 2012
Last updated 23 May 2018 + show all updates
  1. Deleted the Channel Islands byelaws as there are no known Byelaws on the Channel Islands and the Channel Islands are outside the scope of the Byelaws Review which is limited to the UK.
  2. Added Blean Rifle Range in the County of Kent Byelaws 1918, Eastney Rifle Range in the County of Hants Byelaws 1935 and Newhaven Rifle Range in the County of Sussex Byelaws 1914.
  3. Added new MOD boundary markers page link.
  4. Added the Related Information links and amendments made to the Byelaws web page reflects the latest position and Internet Review.
  5. Moved the reviewed byelaws to a new page.
  6. Added Lapsed byelaw: Scraps Gate Rifle Range Byelaws 1886.
  7. Added updated contact information and published updated list of byelaws to be reviewed.
  8. Added updated list of byelaws to be reviewed.
  9. Added lapsed and revoked byelaws.
  10. Added revoked Salisbury Plain Byelaws.
  11. Added the following byelaws: Revoked byelaws: • Heugh and Lighthouse Batteries Hartlepool Byelaws 1930 • Heugh and Lighthouse Batteries Hartlepool Byelaws 1933 • Luce Bay (in the County of Wigtown) Air Gunnery and Bombing Range Byelaws 1938 • Okehampton Range Byelaws 1963 • Dockyard Port of Rosyth Byelaws 1971 Added Lapsed Byelaw: Heugh and Lighthouse Batteries Hartlepool Byelaws 1939.
  12. Updated revoked and lapsed byelaws. Revoked byelaw: Chisledon Camp (Army Vocational Training Centre) Military Lands Byelaws 1930. Lapsed byelaws: Chisledon Camp (Army Vocational Training Centre) Military Lands Byelaws 1935; The Cwm Gwdi Range Byelaws 1976; Grafham Range Byelaws 1974; Harwich Defences, Landguard and Beacon Hill Batteries Byelaws 1931
  13. Updated: added the following revoked byelaws: Blean Rifle Range in the County of Kent Byelaws 1918; Bulford Ranges Byelaws 1963; Netley Military Lands Byelaws 1936; Purfleet Rifle Range Byelaws 1926; Purfleet and Rainham Ranges Byelaws 1964; Redesdale Artillery Range in the County of Northumberland Byelaws 1915; Redesdale Artillery Range Byelaws 1923; Redesdale East and West Artillery Ranges Byelaws 1940. Added the following lapsed byelaws: Bull Sand and Haile Sand Forts in the River Humber Byelaws 1938; Chesil Bank, Dorset, Air Gunnery and Bombing Range Byelaws 1938; Netley Military Lands Byelaws 1954”=.
  14. Added the following to Revoked Byelaws: Dover (Lydden Spout) Ranges in the County of Kent Byelaws 1939; Farnborough Air Ministry Lands Byelaws 1927; Glen Fruin Road Byelaws 1987; Hornsea Rifle Range Byelaws 1909; Hornsea Rifle Range in the County of Yorkshire Byelaws 1923. Added the following to Lapsed Byelaws: Divis Ranges County Antrim – Northern Ireland Byelaws 1943; Falmouth Defences Artillery Ranges Byelaws 1937.
  15. Added: Revoked byelaws: Berwick Rifle Range in the County of Northumberland Byelaws 1916; Birchington Rifle Range in the County of Kent Byelaws 1914; Bovisand Artillery Ranges Byelaws 1924; Buddon Artillery Ranges Byelaws 1926; County of Angus Buddon and Barry Links Ranges Byelaws 1937 Royal Air Force Burtonwood (in the County Palatine of Lancaster) Byelaws 1963; Lapsed byelaws: Caterham Barracks Military Lands Byelaws 1974; Didcot Military Lands Byelaws 1932.
  16. Added revoked byelaws: Ash Rifle Range, Aldershot Camp, Byelaws 1887; Colchester (Middlewick and Donyland Ranges) in the County of Essex Byelaws 1940; County of Kent Hythe Ranges Byelaws 1939; Hythe Rifle Ranges Byelaws 1912; Langenhoe Field Firing Range (in the County of Essex) Byelaws 1926; Lulworth Camp (Royal Tank Corps Centre) Military Lands Byelaws 1929; Lulworth Tank Corps Gunnery School Ranges in the County of Dorset Byelaws 1926; Lulworth Tank Corps Gunnery School Ranges in the County of Dorset Byelaws 1929; Lydd Ranges Byelaws 1887; Lydd Ranges in the County of Kent Byelaws 1939; Manorbier Machine Gun Anti-Aircraft Range in the County of Pembrokeshire Byelaws 1939.
  17. Updated lapsed byelaws list.
  18. Added revoked byelaws - Faslane, Coulport and Rhu Narrows Byelaws 1971 and Faslane, Coulport and Rhu Narrows (Amendment) Byelaws 1973, Fingringhoe Ranges in the County of Essex Byelaws 1940, Fort George Rifle and Machine Gun Ranges, Inverness-shire Byelaws 1931, Holbeach (in the County of Lincoln) Air Gunnery and Bombing Range Byelaws 1935 and Corrigendum 1936, Hounslow and Guildford Districts Military Lands Byelaws 1928, Langenhoe Field Firing Range in the County of Essex Byelaws 1919, Langenhoe Field Firing Range (in the County of Essex) Byelaws 1926.
  19. Added Coldham (Classification) Range Byelaws 1942 to lapsed byelaws list.
  20. Added revoked byelaws:- Catterick. Hipswell and Scotton Camps and Catterick Aerodrome Byelaws 1916; Catterick Camp Military Lands Byelaws 1934; Chatham and District Military Lands Byelaws 1915; Chatham and District Military Lands Byelaws 1922; Colchester District Byelaws 1906; Colchester District Byelaws 1908; Colchester District Military Lands Byelaws 1922; Colchester District Military Lands Byelaws 1927; Colchester District Military Lands Byelaws 1935; Donna Nook Lincolnshire Air Gunnery and Bombing Range Byelaws 1926; Dover Military Lands Byelaws 1914; Dover Military Lands Byelaws 1928; Dover Military Lands Byelaws 1935.
  21. Updated Lapsed byelaws list.
  22. Add revoked byelaws - Browndown Rifle Ranges Byelaws 1929, Castlemartin Armoured Fighting Vehicles Ranges Byelaws 1942, Canterbury Military Lands Byelaws 1923, Canterbury Military Lands Byelaws 1915, The British Underwater Test and Evaluation Centre Byelaws 1975, Browndown and Rowner Military Lands Byelaws 1928, Browndown Rifle Ranges in the County of Hampshire Byelaws 1918, Royal Tank Corps Centre Bovington Camp Military Lands Byelaws 1925.
  23. Updated Revoked Byelaws.
  24. Updated lapsed byelaws: Pakefield Ranges in the County of Suffolk Byelaws 1939, Pippingford Park Old Lodge Rifle (Classification) 2-in Mortar and Grenade Ranges Byelaws 1943
  25. Updated Reviewed Aldermaston byelaw.
  26. Updated revoked and lapsed byelaws
  27. Added new revoked and lapsed bylaws
  28. Added link to Brecon Beacons Byelaw
  29. Added link to BUTEC links into revoked and reviewed Byelaws.
  30. Added link to Is-ddeddfau Ardal Hyfforddi Tredeml 2016 under Reviewed byelaws.
  31. Added link under reviewed byelaws for The Templeton Training Area Byelaws 2016.
  32. Added links to reviewed byelaws section for The Sculthorpe Training Area Byelaws 2015 and The RAF Brize Norton Byelaws 2015.
  33. Added a link to the Byelaws responses page.
  34. Added link to 'The RAF Barford St John byelaws 2014' on legislation.gov.uk.
  35. Amended text and added links in new section "Sites affected by SOCPA".
  36. Replaced MOD police document.
  37. First published.