Highways Act and Commons Act deposits

Protecting your land

Section 31(6) of the Highway Act 1980 allows landowners to acknowledge the existence of those public rights of way which cross their land and to prevent new public rights of way being created by long use. New public rights of way may be created following use of a route by members of the public, usually for a period of twenty years or more. A statement/declaration made under section 31(6) will not prevent rights of way that already exist from being recorded, nor can it remove any existing rights.

Under section 15A of the Commons Act 2006 a landowner may deposit with us a map and statement which brings to an end any recreational use of the land 'as of right'. Provided that this is submitted before there has been 20 years 'as of right' use of the land for recreational purposes it will prevent the land from being registered as a town or village green.

Further details about deposits made under both the Highways Act and the Commons Act can be found in Defra's Guidance for the completion of form CA16.

Making an application

If, having read Defra's guidance, you would like to make an application please complete form CA16 which can be found at the DEFRA webpage and return it by post (a signed paper copy is required) to the following address:

Countryside Access
Surrey County Council
Whitebeam Lodge
Merrow Depot
Merrow Lane
Guildford GU4 7BQ

Email: rightsofway@surreycc.gov.uk

Alternatively a copy with some modifications for ease of completion can be obtained from the Countryside Access team.

Please note that we charge for all Highways and Landowner deposits made for a single/standard parcel of land as shown below:

  • Highways Statements and Declarations: £350
  • Landowner Statements (with or without Highways Statements / Declarations): £680

Landowner Statements cost more because the Council has a duty to post and maintain these notices on-site for 60 days.

Additional fees may be charged for larger or more complex land holdings.

On receipt of an application form, the County Council will send you a link to our online payment form with confirmation of how much the application will cost. Alternatively a cheque may be sent made payable to Surrey County Council. Only on receipt of both the fee and a correctly completed form will your application be considered duly made. At this stage we will publish a notice of the deposit on our website, post site notices (where applicable) on the land affected and update the legal register of deposits. In all cases it is recommended that a draft version of your deposit is submitted to the Countryside Access Team before a final signed version is deposited.

The online register and public notices webpage

The Council is required to record all deposits of this type in online and paper register form.

The online version can be viewed as follows: Highways Statements and Declarations.

A paper register is available to view by appointment with the Countryside Access Officer at the address listed above. To make an appointment please telephone 0300 200 1003 or email rightsofway@surreycc.gov.uk.

Since 2013 the Council has also been required to publish notice of each application it receives. These can be viewed as follows: Highways Act and Commons Act Public Notices.

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