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It is the function of a Local Authority to protect the right of the public to use public rights of way in it’s administrative area.
Where a Local Authority proposes to extinguish a public right of way it must undertake a statutory public consultation process as specified in Section 73 of the Roads Act 1993. The extinguishment of public rights of way is a reserved function ie the decision must be made by the elected members.
The process is as follows –
1/ An application to extinguish a public right of way should be made in writing to the Senior Executive Officer, Roads Transportation and Public Safety Department and should be supported by a petition signed by the residents concerned/affected indicating their support for the proposal and the reason(s) for seeking the extinguishment.
2/ The proposal is submitted to the relevant Municipal District for authorisation to commence the statutory process.
3/ The proposal is published in one or more newspapers circulating in the area where the public right of way is located.
4/ Site Notices are erected at each end of the public right of way the subject of the proposal.
5/ The proposal is placed on public display.
6/ Objections/representations are received.
7/ An Oral Hearing is arranged if required.
8/ The proposal, submissions, representations and the report from any Oral Hearing are considered by the relevant Municipal District.
9/ The extinguishment is approved or rejected by the relevant Municipal District.
10/ If approved the extinguishment is published in the same newspapers in which the proposal was published.
11/ All persons who submitted objections/representations are notified in writing that the public right of way has been extinguished.
12/ The extinguished public right of way is closed – the preferred method of closure is by the incorporation of the extinguished public right of way into the properties of adjoining residents.