Deposits under Section 31 (6) Highways Act 1980
Section 31 (6) of the Highways Act 1980 enables landowners to protect their land from gaining public rights of way through use by the public (often referred to presumed dedication). The provisions require landowners to deposit a map, statement and statutory declaration with the Council showing which rights of way they acknowledge over their land. The Council encourages landowners to deposit these documents to protect their interest, and to provide greater certainty for users.
There are several benefits of depositing a map, statement and statutory declaration:
- It will be possible to allow continued informal use of tracks and paths (for example, by local people) without fear of a public right of way being gained on the basis of future use.
- Where a track or path has been used by the public, but for less than 20 years, it will not be possible for a right of way to be claimed through presumed dedication (although a claim at common law might be possible).
- Any new tracks or paths will be protected automatically from the outset.
- The deposit will immediately fix a point in time at which any unacknowledged rights are brought in to question by the landowner. This is important if a claim to record a right of way based on use by the public is made to the Council.
Depositing a map, statement and statutory declaration does not remove any public rights of way that are already recorded legally, or that have already been established through past use by the public.
If you own land in the Bradford District and would like details of how to make a deposit under Section 31 (6) of the Highways Act 1980 please contact the Countryside & Rights of Way Service.
Register of Maps, Statements & Declarations made under Section 31 (6) Highways Act 1980
The Council keeps a register of deposits under Section 31 (6). It is hoped that the register will help to increase confidence among landowners and the general public where the status of certain tracks and paths is unclear.
The links on the right hand side of this page take you to a list of any deposits made within the areas. You can also view a PDF version of the Section 31 (6) Register below:
The Section 31 (6) Register ().
The full version of the register is held at our Office in Bradford. Please contact the Countryside & Rights of Way Service if you wish to view the register.