Local council authorities make decisions about whether to reject or approve applications for public rights of way in the United Kingdom.
This guide explains when and how to appeal a right of way decision (using a schedule 14 appeal form) and who may comment on the actual appeal.
There are two primary grounds for appealing against a council's decision about a public right of way.
After applying to change the 'definitive map and statement' of the area, you can make (either):
But, you will not be able to appeal a right of way decision, if (either):
Note: Appealing against rights of way decisions issued by local councils is free of charge in the United Kingdom. But, the person who made the original application is the only one who can make an appeal.
The deadline for appealing against rights of way decisions is twenty eight (28) days from the date recorded on the decision letter issued by the local council.
But, if the council failed to make a decision, the deadline is twelve (12) months from the date you submitted the original application.
As a general rule, you can expect to get a decision about an appeal within six months (26 weeks) from when it's validated (see further details on the validation process below).
You must use schedule 14 appeal form to make this kind of appeal. Fill in the form and email it to the Planning Inspectorate. You can make a direction request by writing to the Secretary of State.
Important: You cannot use postal methods to send an appeal during the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19). You can appeal more than one decision. But, you would need to make separate appeals for each one.
If you are making a schedule 14 appeal you will need to provide two (2) copies of the original application, your reasons for appealing, and:
If you are making a direction request (e.g. the council did not make a decision) you will need to provide two (2) copies of:
Note: You can submit the form and relevant documents by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Even though anyone can comment on a right of way appeal, the local council must inform all 'interested parties' (people who commented on the original application).
This notification must occur within fourteen (14) days from the date that the Planning Inspectorate validated the appeal.
One of the roles of the Planning Inspectorate is checking that these types of appeals are valid. Following that, they will notify you of what happens next and how long the process is likely to take.
After the Planning Inspectorate considers the application, they will usually make their decision known within a period of about thirty (30) weeks (around twenty one weeks for direction requests).
The Planning Inspectorate will instruct the local council to carry out the order (for schedule 14 appeals). Even so, they do not place any time limit on the council for doing so.
If your direction request appeal was successful, the Planning Inspectorate gives a time limit for the local council to make a decision on the original application.
Supposing you still disagree with the appeal decision (e.g. because you believe the Planning Inspectorate made a legal mistake). If so, you may be able to make a legal challenge through the Administrative Court.
Important: It would be prudent to seek professional advice from a lawyer (e.g. through the Law Society) before pursuing this option.
Appealing Right of Way Decision in United Kingdom