Map modification orders


Anyone may apply to us to change the Definitive Map using a modification order. You may apply for a modification order to re-grade a public right of way or include an additional right of way on the Definitive Map. We are not obliged to provide a tarmac or stoned surface.

This web page sets out the procedure to follow to make an application.

Decide whether your application is for a footpath, bridleway, or by-way open to all traffic

  • a footpath is for use by pedestrians only, it may have gates and stiles on it;
  • a bridleway is for use by pedestrians, equestrians (horses and riders) and cyclists. It must not have stiles, unless there are also opening gates;
  • a byway open to all traffic, it is used mainly by equestrians and walkers, it may be used by motor vehicles.

Apply to us for a modification order

 pdf icon Download Schedule 7 - Form of application for modification order [20kb]

You must have evidence to back up your application. We require a map, not less than 1:25,000 (2½" to 1 mile). You can also provide documents, photographs, old maps or statements from people who have used the pathway. The pathway must have had 20 years uninterrupted use.

 pdf icon Download an evidence form [183kb]

Complete Schedule 7 and relevant evidence forms and return to Highway Network Services, 3 Knowsley Place, Duke Street, Bury BL9 0EJ.

Notify the landowner or occupier

 pdf icon Download Schedule 8 - Form of notice of application for modification order [21kb]

Complete Schedule 8 and send it to each landowner affected by your claim. If you cannot find the landowner, write to the Planning, Engineering and Transportation Services Officer detailing your investigation and we will direct you to address the notice to the "owner" or "occupier" of the land (describing it) and to affix the notice to some conspicuous object or objects on the land.

Let us know when you have given notice to all affected owners and occupiers

 pdf icon Download Schedule 9 - Form of certificate of service of notice of application for modification order [15kb]

Complete Schedule 9 which lists the landowners notified, and return it to Highway Network Services, 3 Knowsley Place, Duke Street, Bury BL9 0EJ.

What happens next?

When we have received all your completed forms, your application will be registered and you will receive a letter from us.

How long will it take?

Detailed investigations will not necessarily start immediately. Applications will generally be addressed in order of receipt, however, a backlog of applications is currently being dealt with. Urgent applications such as those where the path is threatened by development, may be taken out of sequence.

You are entitled to approach the Secretary of State for the Department of the Environment if your application is not dealt with within 12 months, but you are advised to contact the Public Right of Way Officer first, to establish the reason for the delay. The Secretary of State can direct the Council to determine the issue within a given time-scale.

The process

Detailed investigations are undertaken by a Public Rights of Way Officer. Each application involves consultations with landowners and occupiers. Witnesses may be interviewed and documentary research is carried out. When investigations are complete, the officer submits a detailed report with recommendations to the Authority's Planning Control Committee for consideration. You, and all landowners and occupiers on whom you served notice, will be advised of the Councillors' decision.

If the Council decides not to make a Definitive Map Modification Order then, within 28 days of receiving the notification, you may appeal in writing to the Secretary of State. You must also give written notification to the Council of your appeal. If the Secretary of State is satisfied, on appeal, that an Order should be made, then the Council will be directed to do so.

If a Definitive Map Modification Order is to be made, it will be done in accordance with the procedures laid down in Schedule 15 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981. The Order will be sealed by the Council Solicitor and notice served on interested parties. It is then advertised on site and in the local newspaper and 42 days is allowed for any objection or representation. Should any be received and not withdrawn, then the Council must refer the matter to the Planning Inspectorate for determination. A public Inquiry may need to be held.

Contact for Highway Network Services