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We will be carrying out essential maintenance on our website on Tuesday 23 April 2024 between the hours of 8.00am and 10.30am. During this time, the website may experience technical issues. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.


We deal with many applications for footpath diversions for a variety of reasons.

All current diversion notices are available on our Statutory notices page.

Highways Act (HA) 1980 diversion

Various sections of the HA 1980 allow us to consider making diversion orders on behalf of a landowner. Please read the guidance notes and contact us for advice before applying for a Section 119 diversion.

Town and Country Planning Act 1990

Section 257 application

Section 257 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 allows rights of way to be diverted to enable development to take place. In other words, if a developer (for instance) has been given planning permission to build a housing estate, then any paths running over this land can be diverted to allow for the erection of the buildings. 

We would require a developer to keep any changes to a minimum and to accommodate the path within the development. We work closely with developers and planners to ensure that the character of paths are not altered too dramatically. For example, if land over which a rural cross field path is to be built on, we will encourage developers to provide a wide, open path as close to its original line as possible. We do not encourage paths to be provided between high fences, or running behind property wherever possible.

Any application for the extinguishment and/or diversion of footpaths and/or bridleways affected by development should be submitted along with the planning application:

Section 261 application

Section 261 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 allows for rights of way to be temporarily stopped up or diverted in order to enable minerals to be extracted by surface working.

Any application for the temporary stopping up and/or diversion of footpaths and/or bridleways affected by mineral extraction should be submitted along with the planning application:

Stopping up (permanently removing a right of way)

Stopped up is the term used when the applicant wants a public right of way to be permanently extinguished under Section 118 of the Highways Act. It is not a common occurrence because the legal requirements that must be met are very difficult to justify in most cases.

Please read the guidance and contact us for advice before applying. 

Contact us
Contact Access and Rights of Way
03000 265 342
Our address is:
  • Neighbourhoods and Climate Change
  • Durham County Council
  • St Johns Road
  • Meadowfield
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH7 8XQ