the inclusion of land on maps of open country and registered common land was
published today by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
- The three types of appeal.
- The role of the planning inspectorate in the process.
- The statutory provisions governing appeals.
- The status of appellants.
- The main issues likely to arise.
- Legislation governing costs.
The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 gives people new rights to walk on
areas of open country and registered common land. Before the new right comes
into effect the land must be mapped so people know where they can walk.
The Act requires the Countryside Agency to prepare maps showing all open
country (mountain, moor, heath and down land) and all registered common land in
England. After consulting on a 'draft' map, the agency is required to consider
comments and representations before issuing a 'provisional' map. Anyone with a
legal interest in the land may appeal to the secretary of state against the
inclusion of land on a provisional map.
After the resolution of appeals, the Countryside Agency will issue a
'conclusive' map. There is no right to walk over land until a 'conclusive' map
for that land has been issued.
Appeals will be dealt with by the planning inspectorate on behalf of the
secretary of state.
1. The government has a public service agreement target to open up access to
all mountain, moor, heath, down and registered common land in England by the
end of 2005.
2. Rural affairs minister Alun Michael announced in November 2002 that the new
right of access would be rolled out region by region; land in the first two
regions, the south-east and central southern England, is due to open for public
access during the summer of 2004.
3. The appeals guidance and further information on the access to open country provisions under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 can be found on the DEFRA website.
4. Further information on the appeal process is available from the planning inspectorate's website.
5. Further information about the mapping process can be found on the
Countryside Agency's website.