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Hi all,


I've been looking for a suitable plot for many years and recently come across a few that finally look suitable. However, they all seem to have a public footpath or bridleway either directly through the plot or around the side of it within the plot boundary.


I know the process to re-route/divert can be long and costly. 


Does anyone have any experience of obtaining planning permission to develop a site whilst a footpath diversion application is in place? Just trying to ascertain if the site could still be developed at the same time the diversion order was being processed.


Obviously if the diversion order has to be completed first before any planning permission is granted you might be talking 2 years for the diversion order to complete, then a year for PP then a year or so for build which is obviously a considerable amount of time!







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I would expect the two to be able to run in parallel, and can be on the same application, but I wouldn't count on being able to achieve it.

My experience is that you need a very strong argument to redirect a PRoW. ie. examples of theft or arson and no alternative means of securing the buildings that are exposed to the PRoW.

To be successful you'd also need to own the land that would contain the diverted route for the PRoW.

Edited by IanR
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Thanks @IanR It is possible that the land it needs to be diverted on to is also owned by the same person selling the plot so might make things easier/harder!


Opens barns with no means of securing could something to go on, research is ongoing.



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Our plot had a footpath across it but the paperwork to divert it along the edge was in place when we purchased it. All we had to do was level and grass the new route and get the paperwork finalised by the footpath officer.  Sounds easy but...   Footpath officer was a pain.  We got the route levelled and seeded but Footpath officer wanted to come and inspect it. He came, looked at it and said we had to wait for the grass to grow before he would finalise the new route. Until then our builder couldn't legally start because the old route was still live. So overnight we turfed it and called the Footpath officer to tell him it had "grown". He still wanted to do another inspection before allowing us to proceed and drove over 35 miles each way to do so.


All this despite there being another official footpath exactly parallel with ours just 1m away the other side of our boundary. These two paths meet up at each end of the garden. Fortunately this other path is the route  everyone walks because its through a church yard. In 10+ years I've not seen anyone walk the footpath through our garden. We haven't bothered to fence it off. The OS maps are still wrong.


Things to bear in mind..


You need permission to put a gate on a footpath. Suitable justification could be to contain livestock. Not sure about other valid reasons.


Every now and again someone gets a bee in their bonnet about access to the countryside for the disabled. I've no issue with this at all but I've had people suggest footpaths should be tarmac.  After leaving our garden our footpath leads about a mile across a farmers field that is heavy clay ploughed a few times a year. I usually tell people I will consider it if they persuade the farmer to do his field first.


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