Northumberland County Council is changing its guidelines on Public Rights Of Way (PROW) and George F.White is urging landowners to educate themselves on the updated established rights of access and the introduction of new rights, including public footpaths, bridleways and Byways open to All Traffic (BOATs) under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Explaining the modification to the PROW guidelines, Hamish Smales, a rural assistant at George F. White, said: “Of course the ability for the general public to have access to the countryside is something that is cherished but we need to realise that this can cause an issue for landowners and occupiers a like. Northumberland currently has more than 3,000 miles of Public Rights Of Way which Northumberland County Council is currently modifying.”
Definitive Map Modification Order Notices will be located on the proposed routes and if your property is to be affected, the Council may write to you, informing you of their intention and detailing the changes to be made.
“However, there is no guarantee that they will inform landowners and occupiers”, added Hamish. “There is a current Definitive Map on the Council’s website, which will show all existing and ‘claimed’ rights of way in the area and a small window of opportunity to object to the Council at this stage. We would advise that landowners exercise this objection if they do not agree with a proposed PROW. It is important that landowners state why they object to the new or modified PROW and support their view with both present and historical evidence. If you’re unsure, then please do get in touch with the team at George F. White who have dealt with and are currently dealing with a number of objections and therefore have a detailed understanding of the process to keep your land free from public access.”
For more information relating to PROWs and objections please contact Hamish Smales on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01665 511981.