Rights of way are footpaths, bridleways and byways which have public access. They are all highways which the public have the right to pass and re-pass along.
Hertfordshire has an extensive rights of way network of over 5,200 paths totalling more than 3,000km. These paths are shown on a map and have a written description in a legal record called the definitive map and statement, which is looked after by the County Council's Rights of Way Service at County Hall, Hertford.
We have powers to divert footpaths under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (Section 257), as well as powers delegated by Hertfordshire County Council (as the Highway Authority for this area) under the Highways Act 1980 (Sections 25, 26, 118, 119) relating to the protection and assertion of public rights of way, including powers to create, divert or stop up footpaths, bridleways and byways.
We are proposing to divert a footpath known as Shenley 003, and to upgrade the new path to bridleway status. This footpath currently runs through the Well End Scout Camp on Well End Road between Shenley and Borehamwood.
A period of pre-order, informal consultation on the proposal ran for six weeks until 29 February 2016.
Hertfordshire Scouts have applied for the diversion of the public footpath which crosses land used by the Scouts for camping at night, and through land used for recreational activities.
The proposal comprises:
a. The diversion of Footpath Shenley 3 from its current line, crossing the land used by the Scouts, to a line approximately parallel with Well End Road (shown B to C on the plan); and
b. The upgrade, widening and extension of the diverted route to become a bridleway and to enable the public to join the route from the entrance to the Scouts rather than from the current point on Well End Road that has no footway (this is shown from D to C on the plan).
We have instructed a rights of way consultant Dr P Wadey to prepare draft order documents and to carry out informal consultation with user groups, landowners and other parties with a known interest in the land or the rights of way network in the area.
Local rights of way user groups and other interested parties have been contacted directly to inform them of the proposal and give them the opportunity to comment.
Find out more
If you have any queries about this, please email email@example.com quoting the reference number ED107.
What happens next
We will carefully consider all responses received before deciding whether to proceed with the proposed scheme, or whether amendments should be made.
The next step is for us to prepare a final diversion Order. There will then be a further formal period (of 28 days) in which the public can make comments before a decision is taken on whether the Order should be confirmed (made permanent). If any objections are received and are not withdrawn, the decision to confirm the Order must be referred to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
A complex legal process is involved in the diversion of footpaths. Further details of this process can be found on Hertfordshire County Council's Rights of Way Service website. This means that the whole process can take many months or even years to complete.