Definitive Map and Statement

Cornwall Council, as "surveying authority" keep a Definitive Map and Statement of public rights of way. A legal record of Cornwall public rights of way showing a 'relevant date' the public had the rights shown on the map. This is without prejudice to the possibility of the existence of higher rights over a particular way or to any other rights that may exist.

In Cornwall the Definitive Map is at a scale of 1:10,000 for each of the former Districts. These show rights of way using standard symbology, a small number of sheets for some urban areas are at 1:2,500 scale.

Cornwall Council as "surveying authority" holds a register of applications made under 'Section 53(5) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981' for Definitive Map Modification Orders. Cornwall Council's register is in priority order with the highest priority application first.

Register of definitive map modification order applicationsFor further help and guidance using the register, please see the DMMO Register Help page. Applications priorities are in line with the Cornwall Council Revised Policy Statement 2006.

Important: The relevant dates for the former District Areas is in the Definitive Statements links below.

Changes made by the following 'Legal Events' are not shown on the Definitive Map sheets:

  • Public Path Orders made under the Highways Act 1980
  • Town and Country Planning Act 1990
  • Modification Orders which were confirmed after the relevant date

The Council will amend the Definitive Map and Statement when it next makes a 'Legal Event Modification Order' to a District Areas Map and Statement.

Paths that were subject of a:

  • 'Legal Event' or
  • confirmed Modification Order

will be amended (subject to a short delay) on the Council's Public Rights of Way interactive mapping. This is not the public rights of way legal record but provides up to date path network information.

The Definitive Map sheets are available through Definitive Map interactive mapping.

This is an electronic version (in pdf format) of this legal record. For further information and advice please see Viewing Cornwall's Definitive Map Online page.

The Definitive Statement are written statements describing ways shown on the maps:

There may be extra rights over ways recorded on the Definitive Map and Statement (e.g. a footpath recorded as a bridleway). Just as routes not currently recorded as rights of way can be added to the Definitive Map (e.g. a footpath not recorded as a public right of way should be recorded). The Council will only amend the Definitive Map and Statement if evidence is presented as part of a Definitive Map Modification Order.

Applications can be made for deleting/downgrading ways on the Definitive Map, if the applicant can show that what is recorded is not correct.
Definitive Map extract

Viewing and Purchasing Definitive Maps

For statutory, legal or formal purposes (i.e. planning applications) only the Definitive Map should be used to confirm the

  • presence
  • location
  • status of public rights of way

You can view the Definitive Map and Statement at New County Hall, Truro.  Please contact and an officer will arrange for the the relevant maps to be available. You can buy certified copies of Definitive Map extracts from the Countryside Access Team for the following fee:

A4 or A3 size copy - £42.50 including postage (duplicates may be ordered at the same time at 50p per copy)

The fee for a certified copy of a Definitive Map extract covers up to an hour of research and administration and includes copies of orders that resulted in changes to the working Definitive Map through:

  • Creation, Diversion, Extinguishment
  • Town and Country Planning Act or
  • Modification Orders after the relevant date that are not on the Definitive Map extract itself.

All certified copies will be sent with an accompanying letter explaining:

  • the purpose of the extract
  • what it can be used for

Local land and property searches (Con29 Search Form questions 5.1 and 5.2) are administered by Cornwall Council's Local Land Charges.

Parish/Town Councils

Parish Councils have a copy of the Definitive Map and Statement showing the local network. The Parish/Town Clerk can arrange an appointment to view them with you.

Ordnance Survey Maps

Maps made by Ordnance Survey record physical features of cartographic importance. Cornwall Council provides information to Ordnance Survey about where public rights of way are. This information is reproduced on some editions of their maps.

A public right of way on the Definitive Map but not on Ordnance Survey does not mean the path is not a public right of way. If, Ordnance Survey records a path, track or way it does not follow that a public right of way subsists along it. Ordnance Survey maps generally contain a disclaimer to this effect.

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