How to object or make representations to a public rights of way order
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 when it is advertised by the council.
If no objections or representations are made, the council can confirm the order themselves.
If objections or representations are received, the local highway authority can submit the order to the Planning Inspectorate for determination. Only the local highway authority can do this. We call an order submitted to the Planning Inspectorate an ‘opposed’ order.
If you didn’t comment when the opposed order was advertised by the council, 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 opposed order. 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.
When you can expect a decision
The notice of order will contain a ‘Start Date’. From this start date 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. 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.
3. 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.
4. If you disagree with the decision
Get advice from a lawyer if you’re unsure about this.
Rights of Way Section
The Planning Inspectorate
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Tel: 0303 444 5466
6. Further information
Attendance sheet for order making authorities (MS Word Document, 44.9KB)
Decisions and notices
Published: 1 January 2012
Updated: 10 January 2017
- Wording updated regarding high court challenges.
- Inserted links to new pages: Rights of Way order information: Decisions and maps and Rights of Way order information: start date notices, inquiry & hearing notices
- First published.