Important: WSCC is following Government advice regarding the closure of Public Rights of Way in response to COVID-19. The network currently remains open and legislation does not exist that would allow WSCC, as Local Highways Authority, to close paths due to COVID-19 at this time. Should this change, we will respond accordingly.
Current advice is that, with appropriate social distancing in place, it is possible to use local Public Rights of Way responsibly. Please make sure you wash you hands thoroughly when returning home from walking on Public Rights of Way as you will have touched gates and stiles that may have been used by others.
The Definitive Map and Statement is the legal record of Public Rights of Way within West Sussex.
Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, any person can make an application to amend the Definitive Map and Statement. These applications are called Definitive Map Modification Order (DMMO) applications.
For example, you might apply:
- if you believe a path exists but is not shown on the map
- to change the status of existing Public Rights of Way, such as changing a footpath to a bridleway.
DMMO applications must be supported by evidence. This evidence can be evidence of actual use by members of the public or historical mapping evidence.
Making an application
The application forms and maps needed to make an application can be obtained from Legal Services using the contact details below. Once completed, the forms must be returned to us, with the map or plan showing the claimed route and copies of the evidence that supports the application. The evidence may be in the form of statements, copies or transcripts of documents, or archive references where it is not possible to reproduce the original.
It is the applicant's responsibility to serve notice of the application on every owner and occupier of the affected land, and to certify to us that this has been done. Landowners’ details may be available from the Land Registry if they cannot be obtained by local inquiry. We may require applicants to post notices at each end of the claimed path if landowners cannot be traced.
Lengthy legal and administrative procedures are involved in the investigation, determination and making of a DMMO. This means we may not be able to investigate each application immediately, but the case officer will keep you informed of the application’s progress.
For more information on making an application refer to Natural England's publication, A Guide to Definitive Maps and Changes to Public Rights of Way - 2008 Revision.
Each application will be investigated by a rights of way officer and will be presented to the Rights of Way Committee for a decision.
The outstanding claims/DMMO register and list of outstanding opposed public path orders and DMMO applications can be viewed below or on the online register. A register of previously determined DMMO applications can also be viewed below. If you have any queries about the registers or need further information, contact Legal Services.
Landowners can make a deposit under Section 31(6) of the Highways Act (1980) to protect their land from DMMO applications.