Before going through this process, please make sure you have read the information about the definitive map and statement.
Please note that a formal claim is not necessary if all landowners involved are prepared to accept and dedicate a new or upgraded public right of way. The acceptance of a new route does not automatically amend or remove any existing recorded public right of way. This would require a different legal order.
The process for making a formal claim for a change to the definitive map and/or statement is as follows.
Obtain evidence in support of the claim. This can be user evidence and/or documentary evidence.
Ask people who have used the route (referred to as 'witnesses') to complete a user evidence form (PDF, 228KB) and return it to you.
We would prefer a minimum of six witnesses, but the more you have the more helpful it will be for your claim. The witnesses must have used the route unhindered and without permission, and between them should cover a period of at least 20 years with no gaps.
Please note that each witness must complete their own form as far as possible. It is not helpful to your case if you complete some of the answers (for example, the description of the route, or its width) before distributing the forms. Evidence provided by the witness in their own words carries more weight than a pre-completed form.
It will be helpful if witnesses are also prepared to present their evidence in person at a public inquiry if necessary.
Obtain any supporting evidence available from maps, plans and documents. For example, tithe maps, inclosure awards, Ordnance Survey maps or railway plans.
Complete and serve the Schedule 8 Notice (PDF, 125KB) on all landowners affected by the claim. This notice should be served by you as the applicant on the landowner.
If you are a landowner making a claim for a route to be deleted from the definitive map and statement, please confirm your landownership on the Schedule 8 Notice.
Complete the Schedule 7 Application (PDF, 142KB), along with all of your supporting evidence and a clear map at a scale of not less than 1:25,000cm showing the complete claimed route.
You also need to complete the Schedule 9 Certificate (PDF, 137KB) to confirm that you have served the Schedule 8 Notice on all the affected landowners.
Send the completed application schedules, with copies of the supporting evidence to us at the address below:The Definitive Map ManagerRights of Way and AccessSuffolk County CouncilPhoenix House3 Goddard RoadIpswichIP1 5NP
Please note we are required to make all claim documents available to the public and the information included on the DMMO register includes the name and address of the applicant and witnesses.
You can view our Rights of way and access privacy notice.
If you have concerns that including your name and address on the DMMO register may cause you distress, please contact the Definitive Map team.
We are not able to investigate every claim immediately we receive it, and therefore we will score your application against our priority criteria for definitive map casework (PDF, 18KB). You can find more information about our prioritisation process on the definitive map and statement page.
We will let you know the level of priority it has been assigned for investigation. Applicants have the right to ask the Secretary of State to direct Suffolk County Council to determine their application if we have not done so within 12 months.
When the investigation of your claim starts a Definitive Map Officer will review your application and carry out a public consultation. They will also search for any further documents, and interview at least a sample of any witnesses who completed evidence forms.
After reviewing all of the available evidence, the officer will write a report recommending whether or not they consider the evidence supports making a DMMO to modify the definitive map.
The officer will present the report to the County Council's Development and Regulation Committee. The Committee make the decision as to whether or not an order should be made after considering the report and hearing from any public speakers at the meeting. The applicant, and one representative each on behalf of the parish council, the objector/s and the supporter/s, may speak at the committee meeting if they wish.
If the Committee reject the application and decide that no DMMO should be made all interested parties will be informed. As the applicant you have the right to appeal to the Secretary of State if your application is rejected by the Committee. The Secretary of State may direct the County Council to make a DMMO.
If the Committee accept the application a DMMO will be made. The order will be advertised in the press and on site and copies will be sent to the applicant, the affected landowners, the local councils and a list of prescribed organisations. There will then be a 6 week long public objection period.
If objections are received the County Council cannot confirm the DMMO itself. The order together with the objections must be sent to the Secretary of State for them to make a decision. The Planning Inspectorate will appoint an independent inspector who will make a written decision following an exchange of written representations, a public hearing or a local public inquiry. The inspector can confirm the DMMO, not confirm it, or confirm it with modifications.
If no objections are received the County Council will confirm the DMMO itself and advertise the confirmation in the same way as when the order was made.
There is then a 6 week long High Court objection period. The only grounds for objection at this stage would be a flaw in the legal process. After the 6 weeks have passed any work needed on the ground will be carried out, the route will be added to the definitive map and statement and the Ordnance Survey will be informed so that their mapping can be updated.