Following a request from the public at last night’s Annual Parish Council Meeting, the Clerk enquired of Rutland County Council this morning exactly how the new law affecting the definition for public rights of way would be applied. The following is the answer:
The 2026 cut-off date is something that was first proposed by the Countryside and Rights of Way (CRoW) Act 2000 but has not yet been enacted. It has been the subject of great deal of discussion within the profession and was meant to brought into force, along with various other recommendations from the Stake Holder Working Group, with the rights of way provisions in the Deregulation Bill. To understand what this really means you need to know about the process of applying for / recording public rights of way (pages 4-13).
If / when the 2026 cut-off date comes into effect you will not be able to make an application to record a public right of way on the definitive map solely on the basis of historic evidence (e.g. tithe or enclosure award). You will still be able to make applications to record public rights of way on the basis of (20 years) user evidence.
Existing rights of way shown on the definitive map are completely unaffected by this.