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Highway statements and declarations

The Highways Act 1980, Section 31(6) provides a mechanism for landowners to acknowledge the presence of existing rights of way across their land and negate any intention to dedicate further ways thereby preventing new rights being established.

Protection against rights of way being established

While it is possible for new rights of way to come into existence through public use, a landowner can also prevent this happening by showing they have taken sufficient action to make it clear to the public they have no right to cross the land. There are various means of doing this, such as physical restraint in the form of locked gates, fences or other obstructions; verbal restraint; or challenge users of the way or by erecting a Highways Act compliant notice denying that a public right of way exists.  However, many of the aforementioned come with their own restraints and it is sometimes difficult to maintain them in situ.  Section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980 provides a mechanism for landowners to acknowledge the presence of existing rights of way across their land and protect their land from gaining further ways thereby preventing new public rights from being established.  

Depositing a landowner statement

Section 31(6) allows landowners to make their intentions clear by depositing with the relevant Authority, a map and statement indicating any ways over that land they admit to be public rights of way. Then within 20 years a landowner must lodge a declaration to confirm that no new rights of way have been dedicated since the date of the deposit of the map and statement. Any public use of the land during this period will not then count towards the establishment of new rights of way.

Depositing a map, statement and declaration will not remove any public rights of way that are already recorded legally, or will not negate any rights where it is possible to establish a 20 year period of uninterrupted use which expired before the initial deposit of the statement and plan or where rights have come to light as a result of historical evidence.

Making a Section 31(6) Application

With the coming into force on 1 October 2013 of the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013, procedures for Section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980 changed. Landowners, or their duly authorised representative, are now required to apply to deposit a statement and map, and/or lodge a declaration, with the relevant authority and applications must be made on a prescribed form (CA16).

Full details of how to make a deposit, a statement and map and the prescribed forms and guidance are available on the Government Website

Please note the following:

  • Applications to add deposits, maps and statements will not be accepted unless they comply with the requirements of the prescribed form
  • Deposits made after 1 October 2013 will be valid for 20 years (previously 10 years)
  • If the plots/parcels are separated by some distance then more than one application may be necessary

For further information on submitting an application please see Section 31(6) Procedure

Publishing notice of application

So as to bring the application to the attention of users of the land the new regulations Statutory Instrument 2013 No. 1774 as amended by Statutory Instrument 2016 No. 1081 require the local authority to publish notice in the form set out in Schedule 2 to the Regulations by various means including on the authority’s website and by email on any person who has previously asked to be informed of applications.

View Current Notices of Landowners Statements, Highways Statements and Declarations

Charges for Section 31(6) Applications

Leicestershire County Council is able to charge a reasonable fee for processing an application of this type and a charge is now applicable. The Council charges £350 for a Highways Deposit, but should your landholding be very large and/or separated by some distance then please contact the Council for a fee estimate.  The Council reserves the right to review and change its fees in the future.

Depositing a Statement under Section 15A(1) of the Commons Act 2006

The Commons Act 2006 allow landowners to submit a statement to prevent land being registered as a town or village green, as the deposit brings to an end any period of use of the land as of right for recreation, provided the land has been used for that purpose for less than 20 years. A landowner statement triggers a one year period of grace during which local inhabitants can apply to register the land as a town or village green. 

Deposits under Section 31(6) may be combined with a deposit under Section 15 of the Commons Act 2006 to protect the land against claims for village green rights. For further information please see Commons and Village Greens.

Inspection of Registers

Work on the development of an online register is ongoing.  In the interim appointments to view the registers held by the authority can be made by contacting the Legal Services Section on 0116 3056752 or email

The Completed Form CA16 needs to be sent by post or delivered to:

Director of Law & Governance (Ref: NV)
Leicestershire County Council, County Hall, Glenfield, LE3 8RA

Accompanied with the correct fee and Covering Letter detailing the following:

  1. Name and Address of the person depositing the Statement and Map with any relevant authorisation.
  2. Address and Postcode of any buildings on the land to which a postcode has been assigned
  3. Details of the Land delineated on the map including ordinance survey numbers and name of Parish and District.
  4. Town/city closest to the area in question. 

Highways Act 1980 Section 31(6) Notices

Current Notices

North West Leicestershire District

Submitted by the applicant's agent on 20 September 2021

Langley Priory Farm - Langley Priory, Diseworth - Notice and map  Opens new window

Charnwood District

Submitted by the applicant's agent on 29 September 2021

Land south of Cufflins Pit Lane - Mountsorrel - Notice and map Opens new window

Harborough District

Submitted by the applicant's agent on 29 July 2021

Valentine Goodman and Great Easton Poors Charity Estates - notice and map  Opens new window

Melton District

Submitted by the applicant's agent on 6 August 2021

Land at Spreckleys Farm, Melton Mowbray 

Recent applications:

Section 31(6) Procedure

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