Changing the definitive map by diverting a path
Due to the high number of diversion applications currently being processed, Dorset County Council operates a waiting list for new applications. It should be noted that, whilst the council has a power to process diversions, this is not a statutory duty and as such only limited resources can be allocated to it.
There are two ways of diverting a path:
Section 257 of the Town and Country Planning Act (TCPA) 1990
If the path is in the way of development for which you have planning consent you may apply to the planning authority (usually the District Council) that granted planning consent and ask them for an order under Section 257 of the Town and Country Planning Act (TCPA) 1990 to extinguish or to divert the path. The only reason for diverting a path under the TCPA is that it is necessary to do so in order to carry out the development. However, it cannot be done retrospectively. If you have gone ahead with your development without waiting for a legal Order to divert or to extinguish the path, then the Town and Country Planning Act procedure cannot be used.
Section 119 of the Highways Act 1980
If a path (footpath or bridleway) crossing your land is on an inconvenient route you may also apply to the County Council for a public path diversion order under Section 119 of the Highways Act 1980 to move it elsewhere on your land. You could also move it onto somebody else's land but you may have to pay compensation. You will be responsible for the cost of any physical works involved in bringing the new route up to the required standard, for example the installation of gates or surfacing.
For applications under the Highways Act:
- The new path must link to the old path either directly or via another highway
- You cannot move the whole path onto another highway - that would be an extinguishment
In summary, the new path has to be at least as convenient to the public as the old one. We have to bear in mind the needs of nature conservation and of agriculture (which includes the keeping and breeding of horses).
Admininstration charges for public path orders
- £3000 for processing an application for a public path diversion order where a legal order is made. Adjacent paths that can be considered at the same time and included in the same order are charged at £2000 per path;
In addition to our administrative charges there are other costs that you will be required to pay for:
The advertising costs for dealing with the application - the legislation requires us to advertise the order in a local newspaper and then if the order is confirmed you must also pay the cost of advertising the confirmation (this may be in the region of £1,500 in total and varies with the newspaper and length of advert required)
The cost of any works for creating the new right of way and bringing it into a suitable condition
Compensating anyone who is affected by your proposals
We will not ask you to pay for the costs of the application in advance. Legal Services will send your first invoice after the order has been published - it will include the basic charge as agreed plus the cost of the first advertisement.
The legislation allows us to delay confirming the order or referring the order to the Secretary of State (if there are objections) until you pay the invoice.
If the order is confirmed and the Notice has been advertised in the local newspaper Legal Services will send you a second invoice for the advertising costs and any further charges (for negotiating the withdrawal of objections). The Order will not come into effect until the Rights of Way Officer has certified that any work necessary to the new path has been completed and it is fit for public use .
You may be entitled to a refund where we:
Do not confirm an order where there are no objections
Do not send the order to the Secretary of State for confirmation, where there are objections, without first obtaining your consent
Make an invalid order
Please contact the rights of way team for more information and for application forms.