Bid to simplify rights of way rules

LEGAL issues surrounding public rights of way are set to be made simpler for landowners.

Natural England is carrying out a consultation and hopes to reduce bureaucracy that surrounds public rights of way.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has been part of a Stakeholder Working Group on Unrecorded Rights of Way along with other organisations.

Together they have come up with ‘Stepping Forward’ - a report they have put to Natural England which kicks off the consultation process.

Land owners and managers will be able to voice concerns they have over red tape and how long it takes to resolve issues about rights of way over their land.

CLA North Regional Director Dorothy Fairburn said: “This consultation marks the first stage in reducing the needless bureaucracy that plagues public rights of way. It is wholly unacceptable that it takes so many years for rights of way issues to be resolved. We welcome the report’s recommendations that seek to improve the present incomprehensible procedures.

“If the report’s recommendations are implemented, it should cut red tape, allow landowners to put forward legitimate concerns about rights of way and while making the system better and easier. They should also end the uncertainty for landowners and householders by removing any doubt about the 2026 cut-off date for reclaiming supposedly lost rights of way.”