West Berkshire Council

Public Path Orders

Legally diverting, creating or removing Public Rights of Way

Public Rights of Way (PROWs) are protected by law. They cannot be diverted or removed ('extinguished') except by public path diversion or extinguishment orders, which are referred to as path orders, along with creation orders that make new PROW.

West Berkshire Council has a discretionary power to make path orders, but will do so after careful consideration and consultation to consider:

  • whether the application fits into the priority workload
  • whether certain legal criteria are met
  • what objections might be likely to arise

Changing, creating or extinguishing a PROW can be a complicated process, that has to meet a number of pdf icon specific legal criteria [6kb]. For further details see the  Natural England Public Rights of Way booklet (particularly sections 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 & 10). Applicants are expected to cover our administration and advertising costs, which is estimated to total of between £1,800 to £3,950 depending on complexity. Costs are payable when an order is advertised for public comment and/or objection. Orders only come into force if they are confirmed. We cannot confirm opposed orders, which either have to be abandoned or passed to the Planning Inspectorate for determination. If a Planning Inspector decides not to confirm an order then the costs are not refundable.

Public Path Orders can be opposed by different groups as part of the consultation process. If this happens, the Order is referred to the Planning Inspectorate for a decision.

New cases need to be scheduled alongside Definitive Map Modification Orders and any other existing Public Path Orders.  We publish a priority work list to show the sequence in which we'll consider the cases.

We're also required to publish Public Rights of Way Notices on any current legal cases.

If you have any questions about Public Path Orders, please contact the Definitive Map Officer.

Who To Contact

For enquiries about the Definitive Map for Public Rights of Way in West Berkshire

01635 503251