Outdoor access and recreation – guidance

Object to a public right of way order

How to object or make representations to a public rights of way order

1. Overview

Your local council makes decisions about recording and changing public rights of way.

You can object or make representations to a right of way order.

There’s no fee for the order to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate.

Only the local highway authority can submit the order. If you didn’t comment when the order was advertised, you can comment when the notice of order has been issued, by the Secretary of State.

Deadline for submitting an order

There is no deadline for the submission of an order.

When you can expect a decision

Once the order has been validated , you’ll normally get a decision within:

  • 35 weeks if dealt with by a local inquiry
  • 29 weeks if dealt with by a hearing
  • 27 weeks if dealt with by written representations

2. How to object

The local highway authority will submit the order along with the required documents as indicated on the checklist. Once the procedure has been decided a notice of order will be issued setting out the deadlines for you to submit comments, a statement of case and a proof of evidence.

3. Comment on an order

Anyone can comment on a public right of way order.

The Planning Inspectorate will write to all those who have objected or made representations to the order, and notified parties, setting out the event details and the timetable for the submission of comments and, documents.

If your council is making a public right of way order which has not yet been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate and you want to object or make representation on it, contact them directly. If a definitive map order is objected to then they must pass the case to the Planning Inspectorate.

4. After the order has been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate

The Planning Inspectorate will check the order to ensure it is valid. They’ll tell you what happens next and how long the order will take to be determined The Planning Inspectorate will then consider the order, the objections and representations and all relevant evidence.

If anyone behaves unreasonably

If the order is being dealt with at an inquiry or a hearing you can apply for an ‘award of costs’ if anyone involved in the order has cost you money by behaving unreasonably, eg missing deadlines. See section 8 of the guidance booklet for more detail.

You can complain about how the Planning Inspectorate handled the order. There’s no time limit for complaints.

5. If you disagree with the decision

You can challenge the decision in the Administrative Court if you think the Planning Inspectorate made a legal mistake.

Get advice from a lawyer if you’re unsure about this.

6. Contact

Rights of Way Section
The Planning Inspectorate
3G Hawk
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Temple Quay

Tel: 0303 444 5466

Email: rightsofway2@pins.gsi.gov.uk

7. Further information

Advice notes

Consistency guidelines

Guidance booklet

Checklist for order making authorities

Attendance sheet for order making authorities (MS Word Document, 44.9KB)

High Court challenges

Rights of Way order information: Decisions and maps

Rights of Way order information: start date notices, inquiry & hearing notices and rejection letters

Published order notices and decisions old page

Schedule 14 appeals: appeal a right of way decision

Schedule 14 direction guidance

Schedule 14 appeals: decisions