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Knebworth Parish Council

Serving the people of Knebworth

Clerk: Claire Graham
9 Oakfields Road, Knebworth
SG3 6NS

Tel: 01438 813795

Footpaths Swangleys Farm

A landowner may prevent the public from acquiring new rights over their land through use, by challenging that use. One option for a landowner to challenge use is set out in legislation. This enables the landowner to send to the County Council a statement including a map, showing the extent of their land and what rights they admit exist over it. The County Council is required to make such documents available to the public.

For rights of way, under section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980, landowners can deposit a statement (with map) acknowledging which ways (if any) they admit to having been dedicated as highways, and as such will be a challenge to the public's use of any other way. The statement can be followed by a landowner's declaration to the effect that no additional way has been dedicated. Such a declaration will be sufficient evidence to negate the intention to dedicate additional ways as highways.

Swangleys Farm has submitted section 31 landowner deposits since 1992. The most recent was made in September 2016.

One permissive path was closed in 2016 and a fence erected to prevent further use.

Three paths have been identified in the parish as potential routes, which might be considered for inclusion on the Definitive Map, with evidence that pre dates the 1992 landowner deposit. These are:

1. FP Pinkers Wood
Starting at Old Lane, adjacent to Longdene, travelling east following the hedge line and field margin to meet Datchworth 24.

2. FP Swangleys Lane
The route starts near the old water tower on Swangleys Lane following the field edge on the western side of the lane. The route runs south to meet Baines Lane.

3. FP Watton Road
The route starts at Watton Road and follows the field edge to meet Old Lane.

To apply for a Modification Order to the Definitive Map, documentary evidence is required that a route has been used for over twenty years.

There are evidence forms which need to be completed by people who have used the paths. A separate form is required for each route and the more evidence that can be collected the stronger the case for the revision to the Definitive Map.

If you have used any of these paths for over twenty years, please download the evidence form, complete it and return it to the clerk.