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Luton Borough Council

Walking

 

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Why walk?

Active ways of travel such as walking are the most sustainable modes of transport and even just a few minutes every day is a great way to keep fit, healthy and happy. It's also convenient enough to fit into your schedule.

Walking is free and it doesn’t require any special training or equipment. It’s also known to help improve mental health and well-being and reduce anxiety, fatigue and stress. Benefits include:

  • increases your energy levels
  • lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes
  • strengthens your immune system
  • helps with weight management
  • strengthens your bones and muscles and improves your balance
  • helps you to sleep better
  • improves your mood and self-esteem
  • helps you to save money

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Register of landowner statements, highways statements and declarations

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Regular use by the public of an informal path, can result in those rights being formalised and recorded. As a land owner you can protect your land against claims for public rights of way rights, by showing that, at the relevant time, you did not intend these rights to be acquired. This can be done by physical actions such as displaying notices, fencing the land or locking gates.

One option for landowners to protect their land is set out in legislation:

  • Section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980 enables a landowner to deposit a statement accompanied by a map, acknowledging any existing public rights of way across their land at the same time as declaring that they have no intention of dedicating any further routes to the public. This is known as a highways statement and will protect the land for a period twenty years from the date of the deposit. However, it must be followed up with a declaration within this period, to ensure continued protection of the land for a further twenty years from the date of the declaration. 
  • Section 15A of the Commons Act 2006 enables a landowner to deposit a landowner statement accompanied by a map, which can be combined with a highways statement, to protect that landowner’s land from registration as a town or village green as well as protecting the land from claims for additional rights of way.

Protecting your land

Regular use by the public of an informal path, can result in those rights being formalised and recorded. As a land owner you can protect your land against claims for public rights of way rights, by showing that, at the relevant time, you did not intend these rights to be acquired. This can be done by physical actions such as displaying notices, fencing the land or locking gates.

One option for landowners to protect their land is set out in legislation:

  • Section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980 enables a landowner to deposit a statement accompanied by a map, acknowledging any existing public rights of way across their land at the same time as declaring that they have no intention of dedicating any further routes to the public. This is known as a highways statement and will protect the land for a period twenty years from the date of the deposit. However, it must be followed up with a declaration within this period, to ensure continued protection of the land for a further twenty years from the date of the declaration. 
  • Section 15A of the Commons Act 2006 enables a landowner to deposit a landowner statement accompanied by a map, which can be combined with a highways statement, to protect that landowner’s land from registration as a town or village green as well as protecting the land from claims for additional rights of way.

Register of landowner statements, highways statements and declarations

Once lodged with Luton Borough Council, the map, statement and declaration become public documents and available for public inspection. All local authorities are required to keep a public register of maps and statements deposited, and declarations lodged under Section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980.

How to make an application

If you want to make an application to submit a highways statement (to protect your land against claims for rights of way) or a combined highways and landowner statement (to protect your land against claims for village green rights as well as rights of way), and/or a declaration, you will need to complete application form CA16. This form is available for download, along with further guidance, at GOV.UK – Commons Act 2006: landowner statements, highways statements and declarations form.

Before you send us your completed form CA16 you must make sure that:

  • The application is signed by every owner of the land to which the application relates, or by their duly authorised representative.
  • The application is accompanied by a plan, showing the rights of way over the land, at a scale of not less than 1:10,560 (a map at 1:5,000 is acceptable as an example). It should show the boundary of the land to which the application relates (the extent of landownership) in coloured edging.
  • The application is accompanied by the appropriate fee (see below).
  • You have supplied a contact email address and/or phone number.

Please send your completed application back to us at the address below.

Highway Development Control (Planning)
Luton Borough Council
Town Hall
George Street
Luton
Beds
LU1 2BQ 
E:  [email protected]

 We will check the application form and map against the Definitive Map and if any amendments need to be made we will contact the applicant. If no amendments are needed, we will tell the applicant the date from which the deposit is effective and details of the deposit will be added to the “Statement and Declaration Register”.

Applications are usually processed within six weeks. It is the landowner’s (or their successors in title’s) responsibility to ensure that they submit a declaration every 20 years to keep the deposit effective. The Luton Borough Council will not remind landowners when declarations need to be renewed.

Please note: The statement of truth in the application form places on the applicant the onus of getting facts correct. If the statement or map(s) in question contain a material error, then it could invalidate the application.

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If you want to make an application to submit a highways statement (to protect your land against claims for rights of way) or a combined highways and landowner statement (to protect your land against claims for village green rights as well as rights of way), and/or a declaration, you will need to complete application form CA16. This form is available for download, along with further guidance, at GOV.UK – Commons Act 2006: landowner statements, highways statements and declarations form.

Before you send us your completed form CA16 you must make sure that:

  • The application is signed by every owner of the land to which the application relates, or by their duly authorised representative.
  • The application is accompanied by a plan, showing the rights of way over the land, at a scale of not less than 1:10,560 (a map at 1:5,000 is acceptable as an example). It should show the boundary of the land to which the application relates (the extent of landownership) in coloured edging.
  • The application is accompanied by the appropriate fee (see below).
  • You have supplied a contact email address and/or phone number.

Please send your completed application back to us at the address below.

Highway Development Control (Planning)
Luton Borough Council
Town Hall
George Street
Luton
Beds
LU1 2BQ 
E:  [email protected]

 We will check the application form and map against the Definitive Map and if any amendments need to be made we will contact the applicant. If no amendments are needed, we will tell the applicant the date from which the deposit is effective and details of the deposit will be added to the “Statement and Declaration Register”.

Applications are usually processed within six weeks. It is the landowner’s (or their successors in title’s) responsibility to ensure that they submit a declaration every 20 years to keep the deposit effective. The Luton Borough Council will not remind landowners when declarations need to be renewed.

Please note: The statement of truth in the application form places on the applicant the onus of getting facts correct. If the statement or map(s) in question contain a material error, then it could invalidate the application.

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Planning your route

Why not try our urban walking route planner which is quick, free, healthy and environmentally-friendly? You can get a route map between any two points which includes:

  • your journey time
  • step count
  • calorie burn
  • carbon saving

Keeping safe on your walk is important, find out how to deal with different situations that you may encounter when out and about walking.

Making sure you have the right clothing and equipment is also important, so find out what to take with you when heading out for a walk including what to wear, what to carry and how to pack your rucksack.

Find out more about public rights of way - areas of land which the public have the right to pass and repass. We are responsible for ensuring that the rights of way in Luton are usable, unobstructed and clearly signed.

Find out about the different types of pedestrian crossings which are there to improve your safety when out on the public highway.

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Walks to go on

Walking has many benefits, from keeping you fit to improving your well-being and is a great activity to do alone or with family and friends. It’s also the best option for travel journeys that are fewer than two miles and can be combined with other methods to cover longer distances.

There are over 2,200 kilometres of public rights of way throughout the Bedfordshire countryside to be enjoyed, whether by footpath, bridleway or byway. Going on a walk is a great opportunity to get out into nature and see the surrounding countryside, villages and towns, so keep a look out for a selection of guided and self-guided walks coming soon to this page that will cover a wide variety of terrain, with something for everyone.

Click on the link below to find out more information on The Luton Hat Trail and The Lea Valley Walk.

Upcoming events and walks of interest will be added here, so please keep a look out!

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Walking clubs 

We're lucky enough to have areas of beautiful countryside in Bedfordshire, and lots of groups that organise regular walks for you to join.

Please note: some groups may require membership and/or fees.

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Walking to school in Luton

Not only is walking to school a fun and healthy way to get to school, it helps prepare children with the basic life skills they need such as personal safety and road safety skills.

There are many other benefits to walking to school some of which are:

  • learn to be safe
  • help the environment
  • keeps you fit and healthy

Find out all you need to know about travelling to school sustainably.

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Looking after the walking environment

It is important that pedestrians are able to feel confident about walking in their local area especially to access to work, to take the children to school and to access shops and amenities such as a local doctor or dentist.

If you spot a maintenance problem whilst walking please let us know.

To read more about looking after the walking environment visit the Living Streets website which is the national charity that stands up for pedestrians. 

Find out more about the Local Access Forum, an independent advisory body working with us and Central Bedfordshire Council to improve your enjoyment of Bedfordshire and Luton's countryside whilst safeguarding its future.

Landowners can take steps to prevent public rights of way being established across their land or their land being registered as a town or village green. Please read the Landowners Statement and Declartions for more information.

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© 2021 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ