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Section 31(6) Applications – Did you see the Proclaimers crossing your land?

No matter your age I am sure that at some stage you will have attended a party where the Proclaimers ‘I would walk 500 miles’ bellows out from the speakers and is followed by 45 minutes to an hour or Scottish accents being adopted by every member of the gathering that should probably have gone home an hour earlier.  The fact that 500 miles from the Proclaimers home town of Fife would enable the to, near enough, walk the length of the country does make me wonder exactly which route they took and whether any ‘short cuts’ were taken.

Unwanted walkers, whether with or without guitars, can be an issue for anyone owning land.  The odd individual walking around the outside of a farmer’s field as a short cut home soon becomes an informal route which everyone on the adjoining estate uses in order to make it home before the front door is locked.  Not only does this cause a potential security issue for the landowner but more importantly it could well have serious implications for the value of the land if, for example, it were to be put forward development.  Suddenly, this use of an informal shortcut that the landowner has ignored becomes a public right of way that at best hinders, and at worst prevents, the development of the land.  Either way, there’s a strong chance that it would prevent the landowner from maximising the value of the land on any future sale.

There are ways in which the landowner can protect themselves against any such claims and one of these is by submitting statements to the local authority under section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980 confirming the location of any such rights that the land is subject to and also confirming that the landowner has no intention of granting any such other public rights of way. These applications have specific requirements that need to be adhered to in order to give the landowner the protection they require and I am well practised in having advised on and made these submissions.  So if you wish to protect the value of your land by making a section 31(6) declaration why not get in touch and I take you through the steps…don’t worry though there are far fewer than 1056000 steps which is what I understand is the average amount in 50 miles!  We will leave that to the tuneful Scots!

Content Writer​

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Last updated | 19 July 2023

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