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Recording Rights of Way

The Council maintains the legal record of Public Rights of Way.


Members of the public may apply to amend it where there is evidence that it is incorrect or that a path is missing from it.


Definitive Map of Public Rights of Way

The Definitive Map is the legal record of public rights of way, it gives information on the alignment and status of each route. The Map provides conclusive evidence that the paths shown are beyond dispute and that they are public paths.


The Definitive Map is accompanied by a Definitive Statement that lists all of the routes shown on the Map and includes a description for each. The Map and Statement can be viewed at The Dock Offices, Barry Docks, Barry, if possible please contact a member of the Public Rights of Way team in advance to ensure an officer is available.


  • Keeping the Definitive Map up to date

    Sometimes you may believe that the legal record is incorrect. These inaccuracies may include a path being shown on the wrong alignment or with the wrong status, a path may exist on the ground but not be shown on the Map, conversely perhaps a path shown on the map should not have been given public rights.


    When inaccuracies and errors do exist, changes to the Definitive Map and Statement can only be made through a legal process leading to the production of a Definitive Map Modification Order (DMMO). 


    DMMO applications must be supported by evidence. This evidence can be evidence of actual use by members of the public or historical mapping evidence.

  • Making an application to modify the map (DMMO)

    An application pack can be obtained by contacting the Vale of Glamorgan’s Public Rights of Way Team. Once completed, the forms must be returned with a map or plan showing the claimed route and copies of evidence that supports the application such as historic documents, maps or witness evidence forms (evidence form templates are included in the pack).


    It is the applicant's responsibility to serve notice of the application on every owner and occupier of the affected land, and to certify to the Council that this has been done. Landowners’ details may be available from the Land Registry if they cannot be obtained by local inquiry. The Council may require applicants to post notices at each end of the claimed path if landowners cannot be traced.


    Lengthy legal and administrative procedures are involved in the investigation, determination and making of a DMMO. This means we may not be able to investigate each application immediately and that applications may be queued where a backlog exists. DMMO’s will usually be investigated in turn based on the date received.


    A register of DMMO applications is available via the Registers section

  • Preventing future paths being claimed on your land

    A Statutory Declaration under Highways Act (1980) s31(6) allows a landowner to submit a statement to the Council declaring that they do not wish to dedicate any additional rights during the time period for which the declaration remains current. This protects the land from DMMO claims during the period of the declaration.


    To make a declaration a landowner must deposit a map and statement with the council showing the ways (if any) they admit to already being dedicated as public rights of way. Alongside this map a statutory declaration that no additional ways have been dedicated since the initial deposit of the map may be made. This is then sufficient to establish that it was not the owner’s intentions to dedicate during the period between the date of deposit and the date of the statutory declaration. 


    The landowner may continue to deposit similar declarations at intervals of ten or fewer years with the same effect.  

    This process has no effect on the existence of public rights of way shown on the definitive map or otherwise shown to carry public rights, including by deemed dedication by virtue of 20 years use before the statement was deposited.



    Download guidance pack and template form



Register of Applications to modify the Definitive Map of Public Rights of Way


Applications made under The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 Section 53:



Applications made under The Highways Act 1980 Section 31:


Applications to modify the Definitive Map of Public Rights of Way,

made under The Highways Act 1980 Section 121B


Highways Act 1980 Section 121B applications.

Section 121B requires a register to be kept for Public Path Orders for which a right of application exists under Sections 118ZA, 118C, 119ZA and 119C of the Highways Act 1980. However these sections are not in force in Wales, therefore no register is kept.


Public speaking at Public Rights of Way Sub-Committee

There is provision for public speaking at meetings of the Public Rights of Way Sub-Committee.


A Guide to Public Speaking at Public Rights of Way Sub-Committee explains the process and how to register to speak:

Register to Speak