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 subsequent declaration with the Council showing which rights of way 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 declaration:
Depositing a map, statement and 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.
The process for depositing a statement and map were revised on 1st October 2013 following the coming in to force of Statutory Instrument 2013 No 1774.
The major changes are:
Your deposit, map and subsequent statement under Section 31(6) and the appropriate fee should be sent to:
Rights of Way Section, Bradford Council, 4th Floor, Britannia House, Bradford BD1 1HX
Full details of how to make a deposit a statement and map and the prescribed forms are available on the government website at: Commons Act 2006: landowner statements, highways statements and declarations form
Deposits under Section 31(6) may be combined with a deposit under Section 15 of the Commons Act 2006 to protect the land against claims for village green rights. See also the Landowner Statements page.
The Council keeps a register of deposits under Section 31 (6):
The full version of the S31(6) Register is held at the Rights of Way Office in Bradford. Please contact the Countryside and Rights of Way Service if you wish to make an appointment to view the register.
The following new deposits have been received under Section 31(6) Highways Act 1980. These may not yet be reflected in the online version of the Register.