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Landowner statements and declarations

A new right of way over any land which has been used and enjoyed by the public uninterrupted for a full period of 20 years can be deemed to be dedicated as a highway unless the landowner has clearly demonstrated that they did not intend such an outcome.

What can a landowner do to prevent a claim?

It is possible for landowners to protect themselves from subsequent claims that a public path has come into being by deemed dedication by making a deposit under Section 31 of the Highways Act 1980. Under the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 statements can now be made in respect of a Right of Way, or a town and village green or a Statement which covers both. The statements are valid for a period of 20 years. 

Highway Statement or Declaration

For rights of way, under section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980, landowners can deposit a statement and map acknowledging which ways (if any) they admit to having been dedicated as highways. This challenges the public’s use of any other way(s). A Landowner may then within 20 years of the original statement and map, lodge a formal declaration to the effect that no additional way(s) has been dedicated. Such a declaration will be sufficient evidence to negate the intention to dedicate additional ways as highways.

Landowner statement

Landowner statements apply specifically to greens. For land which has been subject to recreational use without force or permission, landowners may now deposit a statement and map the effect of which is to interrupt such a period which brings an end to the recreational use ‘as of right’ – meaning without force, secrecy or permission. A Landowner may then within 20 years of the original statement and map, lodge a formal declaration to the effect that it will again interrupt any such recreational use.
Statements for land within the Borough are held by Bedford Borough Council. It cannot accept applications for land outside that area. If you want to make statements for such land we can advise you who to contact in neighbouring authorities.
Form CA16 which is the new application form to be used can be downloaded (see link below). You will also need to enclose a map showing the land that is the subject of the deposit and details of the ownership of the land. This is subject to a fee of £281.50 which we will be invoiced (this includes up to five site notices applicable for Statements relating to Greens Part D of Form CA16).

For further information please contact Highways.Helpdesk@bedford.gov.uk

On completion please send to:
Bedford Borough Council
Highways Depot
London Road
Bedford
MK42 0QG

Register of Highways Act 1980 Section 31 Deposits and Statutory Declarations, and Commons Act 2006 S15A Landowner Statements

Biddenham Bletsoe
  • Ibbett 
    Parish of Bletsoe (includes land in Bromham, Clapham, Felmersham, Kempston Urban, Knotting and Souldrop, Milton Ernest, Pavenham, Riseley, Sharnbrook, Wyboston Chawston and Colesden)
    Highways Act 1980 S31 Statutory Declaration dated 21/05/2020           
                                
  • Knights L – TL0258 7875
    Parish of Bletsoe
    Highways Act 1980 S31 Statutory Declaration dated 05/02/2017

Bolnhurst and Keysoe
Cardington
Carlton and Chellington
Clapham
  • Barcock – Tinsley Estate, TL026 537, TL032 534, TL040 535, TL042 526
    Parish of Clapham
    Highways Act S31 Statutory Declaration dated 08/01/2019                                                                                                                  

Colmworth
  • Vesely – Colmworth Golf Club
    Parish of Colmworth
    Highways Act 1980 S31 Deposit dated 05/02/2019                                                                                                        

Cople
Dean and Shelton                                                                                                                      
Felmersham
Great Barford
Harrold
Kempston Rural
Knotting and Souldrop
  • St Albans Diocesan – see Parish of Colmworth

Little Barford
Little Staughton
Melchbourne and Yielden
Milton Ernest
  • Bedfordia
    Parishes of Milton Ernest ( also includes land in Bedford, Biddenham, Bletsoe, Bromham, Clapham, Kempston Rural, Kempston Urban, Knotting and Souldrop, , Oakley, Odell, Ravensden, Sharnbrook and Thurleigh)
    Highways Act 1980 S31 Statutory Declaration dated 22/05/2020
     
  • Ibbett Ibbett maps1maps2
    Parishes of Bletsoe, Bromham, Clapham, Felmersham, Kempston Urban, Knotting and Souldrop, Milton Ernest, Pavenham, Riseley, Sharnbrook, Wyboston Chawston and Colesden
    Declaration dated 21/05/2020
     
  • St Albans Diocesan – see Parish of Colmworth

Oakley
Odell
Pavenham
  • Wildlife Trust see Cople

Pertenhall
Podington
Renhold
Riseley                                                                                            
Roxton Sharnbrook
Stagsden Staploe

  

   

Stevington  Stewartby
Thurleigh
  • St Albans Diocesan – see Parish of Colmworth

Turvey
Willington
Wilstead
Wyboston, Chawston and Colesden
Wymington

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