Extinguishment or Diversion Order Guidance Notes

Please read the following carefully before applying for an application form:

1.  It is important that Cornwall Council clearly identifies the owners of the land affected as well as tenants, because the owners must be consulted and their written consent obtained, before an Order can be made.

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2.  If you are not the owner, you must include his/her written consent on the appropriate certificate or the application cannot be processed.

3.  Please note the reasons for making an Order, since these are the only ones that can lawfully be considered by the County Council.  These include:

  • Extinguishment - The path to be extinguished is no longer needed for public use and;
  • Diversion - May be either (a) in the interest of the landowner for securing efficient use of land or (b) in the interest of the public by providing a shorter or more of a commodious path.

4.  When considering an application Cornwall Council must be satisfied that the proposal meets one of these reasons.

5.  In the case of proposed extinguishment, the Council must take account of the extent to which the path in question is likely to be used by the public and the effect that the extinguishment might have on other land served by the path.

6.  In your reason for making an application to extinguish a Public Right of Way you   should give a realistic indication of the extent to which the path is used.

7.  In the case of a proposed diversion, the proposed new path must not be substantially less convenient to the public than the path to be extinguished and the County Council must take into account:

  • The effect the extinguishment or diversion would have on the public enjoyment of the path or way as a whole and;
  • The effect the order would have on the land served by the existing path and also the land across which the new path would run.

8.  In your reasons for making the application, you should say how the proposed     diversion will assist in the efficient use of land and how the proposal will affect public enjoyment of the right of way.

9.  Diversion and extinguishment applications cannot be considered as an alternative to the removal of illegal obstructions on a path.  Only in unusual circumstances will such proposals be considered and then only in the light of special circumstances affecting the particular case.

10.  The policy of the Council is to charge the applicant the costs incurred in processing applications, in accordance with the current regulations and any costs incurred in constructing or signposting the new route, since in the majority of cases, the extinguishment or diversion benefits the landowner/occupier. Generally speaking, the Council will only waive or reduce the costs if there is a direct benefit to the public.

Members of the public who are unfamiliar with a path and who are relying on Ordnance Survey maps will not be aware that the route of the path has been lawfully diverted.  In order to overcome this problem the Council will supply signs to be erected by the applicant showing the new route of the path.  The landowner will be required to maintain the signs for a period of ten years from the date of the confirmation of the order.  The period of ten years is necessary to allow for the publication of revised Ordnance Survey maps following the new route.

N.B. See also the note on the recovery of costs

11.  Please mark the proposed new route on the map, clearly and accurately with a bold, broken line and the line to be extinguished in a bold, continuous line as follows:

Proposed route:  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Route to be extinguished: _____________ (bold line)

Any errors or omissions will take time to correct and will delay the processing of the application!

12.  Upon receipt of your application, the Department Director will:

a.  Inspect the path in question and advise you of any works required to be carried out.

b.  Consult:

  • The local Cornwall Councillor;
  • The Town or Parish Council and;
  • Groups representing users.

c.  Inform you of the likely cost of making an Order.

13.  In deciding whether or not to make an Order the Department Director will consider any views expressed by these consultees or by any member of the public.

14.  Statutory undertakers must also be consulted but only to ensure that their rights to lay services, in a highway, is protected

15.  The Department Director has delegated powers to make the Order if there is no objection to the proposal.  However, if objections are made, the Order can only be made with the approval of an appropriate committee of Cornwall Council.

16.  Under normal circumstances an unopposed Order should be made and confirmed within 10 months of the receipt of a properly made application.  Opposed Orders will take longer to process and since their confirmation rests with the Secretary of State, it is impossible to commit the Council to a time scale for their completion.

Under regulations made by Parliament in 1996, Cornwall Council is empowered to recover the costs incurred in the making of Public Path Orders.  The costs involved in making and confirming an order invariably differ from order to order especially where additional paths are involved or objections to the order are made.  At present it is envisaged that a straight forward order will cost in the region of £1,500, however, the actual costs incurred in processing an order will be charged whether more or less than the estimate.  The Council will normally expect to recover the total costs, from the person applying for the order.

For further information on submitting an application please contact the Definitive Map Team on 0300 1234 202