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Homepage > Environment > Footpaths and bridleways > Legal information > Landowner statements and declarations

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Landowner statements and declarations

Section 31(6) Highways Act 1980 and Section 15A(1) Commons Act 2006.

Section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980 provides a way which landowners can protect their land from public rights of way coming into existence across it, as a result of public use.  It requires a map and statement to be deposited with the County Council, outlining the extent of the land in their ownership and showing the existing public rights of way and highways which cross it.  In order to continue this protection, a statutory declaration must be deposited with the County Council by the landowner within 20 years of the deposit of a map and statement.

The declaration may provide sufficient evidence to protect the landowner from any additional routes being dedicated as public rights of way across their land through public use. In Defra’s view, for a declaration to be effective as evidence against presumed dedication, the lodging of the Declaration must be a separate event after the deposit of the statement (i.e. not at the same time), but no more than 20 years later.

Section 15A(1) Commons Act 2006 provides a way for landowners to bring to an end any period of recreational use “as of right”, before the date that the statement is deposited on the register on the land outlined on the statement map. It does not however, prevent a new period of recreational use from commencing after the deposit of the statement.

Please note: In its capacity as Highways Authority and Commons Registration Authority, Staffordshire County Council administers the register of these statements and declarations as a legal obligation. There is no requirement within the relevant legislation for either the landowner or Staffordshire County Council to consult with residents or neighbours as part of this process.

Application Fees and Process

Please read the  guidance notes on the DEFRA website before making an application.

Please complete the PDF Document Form CA16 (825 KB) which is the application form for Deposits and Declarations under both sets of regulations.

Costs

  1. If you are depositing a Statement and map and lodging a Declaration under Section 31(6) only (part B and C on Form CA16), the fee is £206.

  2. If you are also depositing a Statement under Section 15A(1) of the Commons Act (part D on Form CA16 below), the total fee for both is £445.

  3. If a Statement was deposited with the council before 1st October 2016 and has yet to have a Declaration lodged with the authority, a fee of £68 will be charged to add the Declaration to the Register.

  4. If you are resubmitting a Declaration to renew a previous deposit that a) hasn’t expired and b) has no change to the boundary of the land, a fee of £68 will be charged to update the Register.

  5. If the boundary of the land has changed, you will need to deposit a new Statement and Declaration either for all the land or just for any additional area. The fees will be as above. 

Records storage

We will add applications made after October 2013 onto our declaration and statements page as soon as possible. This will include the application and maps of land under application.

The details supplied by you for an application under Section 31(6) Highways Act 1980 and Section 15A(1) Commons Act 2006 will be stored on our Section 31(6) and Section 51A(1) Register and used to:

  • administer the Register;
  • comply with the legislation under the above Acts

As well as being stored on these web pages, these will also be stored in paper form at our offices at our address below.

Further information is available on our  Data Protection standards page.

Submission and contact details

Please print the CA16 form out, fill it in as appropriate, sign and then send it to the address below, along with a cheque for the appropriate amount made payable to Staffordshire County Council. You can also contact us to pay by BACS or card over the phone. 

Address:

Landowner Statements and Declarations
Spatial Information Team
Staffordshire County Council,
Staffordshire Place 1,
Tipping Street,
Stafford.
ST16 2DH.

Please contact us for more details:

Email: landowner.declarations@staffordshire.gov.uk

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