Landowners Statement and Declarations
How can a public right of way become established?
A new right of way over any land which has been used and enjoyed by the public uninterrupted for a full period of 20 years can be deemed to be dedicated as a highway unless the landowner has clearly demonstrated that they did not intend such an outcome.
What can a landowner do to prevent a claim?
It is possible for landowners to protect themselves from subsequent claims that a public path has come into being by deemed dedication by making a deposit under Section 31 of the Highways Act 1980.
As of 1 October 2013 under the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 statements can now be made in respect of a right of way, or a town and village green or a statement which covers both. The statements will need to be renewed every 20 years. Any deposits/ statements made prior to 1 October 2013 will continue to be valid for the ten year period only as cited in the 'Dedicated Highways (Registers under Section 31A of the Highways Act 1980) (England) Regulations 2007.
Highways statements or highways declarations
For rights of way, under section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980, landowners can deposit a statement and map acknowledging which ways (if any) they admit to having been dedicated as highways. This challenges the public’s use of any other way(s). A landowner may then within 20 years of the original statement and map, lodge a formal declaration to the effect that no additional way(s) has been dedicated. Such a declaration will be sufficient evidence to negate the intention to dedicate additional ways as highways.
A landowner statement applies specifically to greens. For land which has been subject to recreational use without force or permission, landowners may now deposit a statement and map the effect of which is to interrupt such a period which brings an end to the recreational use ‘as of right’ – meaning without force, secrecy or permission. A landowner may then within 20 years of the original statement and map, lodge a formal declaration to the effect that it will again interrupt any such recreational use.
Statements for land within the Borough are held by Luton Borough Council. It cannot accept applications for land outside that area. If you want to make statements for such land we can advise you who to contact in neighbouring authorities.
Form CA16 which is the new application form to be used can be downloaded (see button below). On completion please send to:
Department of Environment & Regeneration
Luton Borough Council
You will also need to enclose a map showing the land that is the subject of the deposit and details of the ownership of the land.CA16 application form
Deposits/Statements up to 30 September 2013
Register of Section 31 (6) deposits by Parish
Deposits/Statements from 1 October 2013 - option to include Landowner Statement for greens