Public rights of way

You have the right to access some land for walking or certain other leisure activities.

Public rights of way are:

  • public footpaths
  • public bridleways
  • restricted byways
  • Byways Open to All Traffic (BOAT)

We have a responsibility to make Diversion or Extinguishment Orders when necessary because of planning permission under the Town and Country Planning Act. 

Following the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013, applications for orders under the Town and Country Planning Act can be applied for before consent is given for planning  permission. Confirmation of the order cannot take place until planning permission has been granted.

In most other cases Lincolnshire County Council as Highway Authority has responsibility for public rights of way, diversions and extinguishments. More information on the Lincolnshire County Council's website >>

Many public rights of way run across privately owned land and the responsibility for looking after these rights of way is shared between the county council and the landowner or farmer.

​Make an application

Applications to divert or stop up public rights of way can come under two Acts:

Completed forms should be sent to:
By postDemocratic Services
South Kesteven District Council
St Peter's Hill
NG31 6PZ

If you are submitting an application for planning permission and the proposal will affect the public right of way,  then an application to divert or extinguish the public right of way will need to be submitted separately to the application for planning permission.

If you intend to keep the right of way on its original route, no application is needed.  However, to be safe, you should contact Lincolnshire County Council to find out if the route being used is the correct one.

What happens next?

Once the order is made, a consultation process is undertaken including the following consultees:

Providing no objections are received during the consultation period the order can be confirmed.

If objections are received and are not withdrawn, the order goes to the Secretary of State for determination.

Please note the public right of way does not become operative until a Certificate of Operation is issued. The original route must be available to the public until the new order has been confirmed and the right of way brought into operation.