Public Footpath Diversion

North Hertfordshire has a network of public footpaths, bridleways and by-ways providing easy access to the countryside. These paths are mapped on the Definitive Map which is held and maintained by Hertfordshire County Council.

Changes can only be made on application to the County Council or by instruction from the planning authority.

Occasionally an application to build or construct a structure may result in blocking the line of the right of way and may require a diversion. Legislation enables the planning authority to divert a definitive right of way if it is deemed necessary to continue development. This is called a Public Right of Way Diversion Order.

How to apply

If you are submitting a planning application that will affect a public right of way, please contact the Rights of Way officer on 01462 474431.

It is only where the planning authority deems it necessary to divert the right of way that a Diversion Order will be considered. There is a section on the planning application form where you can indicate whether the proposed development will affect the line of any right of way.

To request a Diversion Order, please complete the application form on this page. There is a fee of £2,142 associated with a Diversion Order.

Consultation period

The process for diverting a right of way will take a minimum of 15 weeks. During this time consultation will be carried out with the general public, user groups and utility companies.

If no objections are received then the Order may be confirmed. However, if the Diversion Order is challenged then the timescale will exceed 15 weeks.

If the objectors to the Order are not satisfied with the wording or the justification of the order and refuse to withdraw any valid objections, then the final decision will be made by the Planning Inspectorate. The process may take up to 12 months, possibly longer.

Obstructing the line of a public right of way without official approval may result in legal action being taken by the Highway Authority.

It is only when a Diversion Order is confirmed and published that the line of any public right of way can be closed. Until then the existing route must be kept open.

Public Footpath Diversions Confirmed

Please see below Orders that have been confirmed since 2019.

Older Orders, where available, can be requested by emailing: planning.control@north-herts.gov.uk