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You are here: Home Page > Environment and Planning > Countryside > Public Rights of Way > Statements and Declarations

Landowner Statements 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 1st 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 vaild 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.

Landowner Statement
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 Bedford 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 link below). On completion please send to Bedford Borough Council, Rights of Way - Highways and Transport, Room 436, 4th Floor, Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford, MK42 9AP. 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.

A fee of £250 is chargeable which includes up to five site notices. £20 per location will be charged for posting in excess of five notices.

For further information please Telephone: 01234 228924


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
Register of Statements/Declarations S31 (6) Highways Act 1980 and S15A(1) Commons Act 2006

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