Public rights of way: the definitive map and statement

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s definitive map is a legal record of the location, status and other relevant details of all the public rights of way within the Borough.

The recording of a right of way on the definitive map is conclusive evidence of its existence and location. However, the definitive map is not an exhaustive list of all rights of way, and the fact that a route is not recorded on the definitive map is not evidence that it is not a right of way.

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council has a duty to make sure that the definitive map is kept under continuous review.

Applications to modify the definitive map and statement

Under section 53(5) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, members of the public can apply to have the definitive map and statement changed if there is evidence to show that there is an error(s) in the information recorded on them. The route or classification of a right of way may have been recorded incorrectly, a right of way may exist that is not recorded on the map or a right of way may not exist where one is shown on the map.

If you have evidence to demonstrate that the definitive map requires modification, you can apply for a modification order.

For more information on applications to modify the definitive map and statement, please visit the Natural England website or call us on 01254 273829.

Making a section 31 deposit

Under section 31(6), a landowner may deposit a map and statement with the Council that highlights all the rights of way over there land and therefore informs the authority of their intention not to dedicate further rights of way over their land.

This helps protect the landowner from future claims for public rights of way over their land which have come in to being through the use of the route by the public.

Please see more Information on how to make a deposit order.

Viewing the definitive map and statement

The West Pennine Moors Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 287 covers the entire borough of Blackburn with Darwen and shows public rights of way. This is an excellent resource for anybody wishing to get out and explore the local area.

Alternatively, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s definitive map and statement can be viewed at First Floor, One Cathedral Square, Blackburn, BB1 1FB. Please call 01254 273829 to make an appointment.