[Diggers350] Fwd: Open Spaces Society news release: 2026 guillotine for historic ways is abolished

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Fri Feb 18 02:03:30 GMT 2022

>From: Kate Ashbrook <hq at oss.org.uk>
>To: Kate Ashbrook <hq at oss.org.uk>
>Subject: Open Spaces Society news release: 2026 guillotine for historic ways
>  is abolished
>The government is to scrap the 2026 deadline for recording historic 
>paths in England.  The Open Spaces Society(1), Britain's oldest 
>national conservation body, is delighted at the news.  With other 
>path-user groups it has pressed for the repeal of the deadline which 
>for more than 20 years has threatened our unique path-network.
>The deadline meant that on 1 January 2026, public rights over 
>thousands of paths, which are public highways but not yet recorded 
>as such, or not yet recorded correctly, would have been 
>extinguished, with those rights being lost for ever.  If a way is 
>not recorded on the definitive map and statement of rights of way, 
>it can disappear under development.
>Users have been frantically researching the historic evidence to 
>claim paths, but there was no way that they could research them all 
>before the deadline.
>On 16 February, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural 
>Affairs (Defra) told the stakeholder working group (SWG: made up of 
>representatives of users, landowners and farmers, and local 
>authorities) that it would ditch the deadline, since considerable 
>work remained to get the proposals ready for legislation.  Defra, 
>Natural England, and the SWG have been working on this since 2008.(2)
>Says Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society and 
>a member of the SWG since its inception: 'We are greatly relieved 
>that Defra has recognised that the 2026 guillotine is 
>impractical.  Much legal and technical work remained to be done 
>before it could be imposed, and this has stalled for some time.  We 
>are pleased that Defra has taken this sensible and pragmatic decision.
>'Now, users can carry out their work without a Sword of Damocles 
>hanging over them, and we can ensure that valuable ways are 
>saved.  However, it is also important to record them in order that 
>people know where they are and they can be protected from 
>development.  Therein lies a serious problem because local 
>authorities have a long backlog of applications.
>'The rights-of-way reform package, agreed by the SWG and included in 
>the Deregulation Act 2015, was intended to expedite path claims and 
>assist local authorities in processing them.  We hope that these can 
>be extracted and implemented in any case, to help the applications 
>from building up.
>'We are concerned, however, that Defra proposes instead to focus on 
>implementing measures to give landowners a right to apply for path 
>changes, which could divert hard-pressed local authorities into 
>prioritising proposals which are not in the public interest.  We 
>shall be advising and lobbying on these provisions', says Kate.
>In Wales, ministers have already agreed to repeal the 2026 deadline.
>Photo: newly-recorded track between North Walsham and Mundesley in 
>Norfolk.  The successful application for a restricted byway was made 
>by the society's local correspondent Ian Witham.
>Notes for Editors
>1          The Open Spaces Society was founded in 1865 and is 
>Britain's oldest national conservation body.  It campaigns to 
>protect common land, village greens, open spaces and public paths, 
>and people's right to enjoy them.
>2          The 2026 cut off was introduced in the Countryside and 
>Rights of Way Act 2000.  In 2008 Natural England set up the SWG to 
>agree a package of legal and procedural changes to enable the cut 
>off to be implemented.  The SWG agreed a package in 2010, and 
>government passed legislation in the Deregulation Act 
>2015.  However, the necessary regulations and guidance have not been 
>completed, having proved to be more complex than originally envisaged.
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he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and 
gave to them. 
<http://biblehub.com/luke/24-31.htm>31 And their 
eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he 
vanished out of their 
sight.  http://biblehub.com/kjv/luke/24.htm 
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