Northamptonshire Highways

Public path orders

​Anyone may apply to the local authorities for the diversion or closure of public rights of way on their land


Most applications for diversions are either to allow for more convenient farming practice or development which has been granted planning permission. Before we can process a request for a diversion we must be satisfied that:

  • It is in the interest of either the public, the owner, lessee or occupier of the land.
  • The new route must terminate at another point on the same path or a highway connected with it.
  • The new route must be substantially as convenient for the public.
  • There will not be a negative effect on public enjoyment of the path or way as a whole.
  • Any work needed to bring the condition of new routes up to an acceptable standard will normally be required of the applicant.


Most applications for the closure of public rights of way are on the grounds that the path or way is not needed for public use. With the increasing use of the rights of way network, such proposals are normally opposed and so it is difficult for them to succeed.

Please note: If a diversion or extinguishment of a public right of way is required to enable a development to take place, (in accordance with planning permission) applications are processed by the council who granted the planning permission (usually the District or Borough Councils).

How do I apply?

If you would like to apply to divert or extinguish a public right of way it is advised to consult widely with:

  • the local group of the Ramblers' Association
  • the British Horse Society (if seeking to amend a bridleway) 
  • the Parish Council

The cost of a public path order is outlined in the Definitive Map Team standard charges below.

Please note: We cannot guarantee that an application will be successful, if objections to an Order are received it may lead to a public inquiry which can cause the associated costs to increase.

Updated budget timeline 2018/19

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