Recording, Changing and Closing Public Rights of Way

Definitive Map Modification Orders

A Definitive Map Modification Order is a legal order which changes the Definitive Map and Statement (DMS).

The DMS is a statutory record of public rights of way and anyone has a right to apply for it to be corrected where they believe there is an error or omission. The decision on whether or not to make such a correction is based purely on the evidence of what public rights exist and it is important to understand that the process is not concerned with issues of management of the ways, desirability of the routes or other such matters. These other concerns may be appropriate, and may form part of any subsequent management of a route that is amended or added by an order, but they are not matters that can be taken into account in determining the Definitive Map Modification Order.

A Definitive Map Modification Order cannot create rights that do not already exist, extinguish rights that do exist nor divert paths onto a preferred route (there are other mechanisms for doing this). It is solely concerned with formally recording the rights that already exist on the ground but are not recorded on the DMS.

All applications in Worcestershire are processed by the Countryside Mapping Team and the process is broadly as follows:

  • Investigation into the evidence and consultation with interested parties
  • Report and recommendation
  • Elected Members' decision on whether or not to make a Definitive Map Modification Order
  • (Appeal by applicant against decision not to make an order)
  • Making of Definitive Map Modification Order
  • Objections to the Order
  • Confirmation of the Order (if no objections remain) or;
  • Referral to Secretary of State for a decision on whether or not to confirm the Order – the Secretary of State may decide to hold a Public Inquiry or Hearing, or to invite written representations, to help her/him to make the decision.

Before making an application to modify the definitive map, it is strongly recommended that the following advice and guidance note is carefully read before continuing further.

Register of applications

(as required under section 53B of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as amended by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000)

The list of outstanding applications for Definitive Map Modification Orders can be seen by clicking on the link below. To view the map and associated documents of any application, click on the document icon within the last column of the list:

NB:  All Valid applications have been prioritised in accordance with the Countryside Services Definitive map Modification order Application Prioritisation Standard Operating Procedure (opens in a new window)

Reports on recently investigated applications:

Note: Worcestershire County Council is the Surveying Authority for the area within the County boundary, and as such is responsible for the DMS for Worcestershire. The mechanism for making a correction to the DMS is a Definitive Map Modification Order and whilst Worcestershire County Council has a duty to process all applications for such orders, no guarantee can be given regarding the outcome as this is dependant upon [a] the evidence presented or discovered and [b] the Secretary of State's decision, if the County Council's decision is appealed against.