Public Rights of Way (PRoW) are protected by law and can only be altered by legal order. The Definitive Map of Public Rights of Way, together with a document called the Definitive Statement, lists the precise location of all PRoWs within Essex. We, as the surveying authority for the county of Essex, maintain and update the Definitive Map and Definitive Statement.
The Definitive Map and Definitive Statement are conclusive in law as to the location and existence of PRoWs, but the documents are regularly updated to reflect changes that have resulted from legal orders. Legal orders can be used to create a new PRoW, modify an existing PRoW or remove a PRoW from the map.
Anyone can request a permanent change to the Definitive Map and Definitive Statement, provided they are able to make a reasonable case for the alteration to take place. Essex Highways has a statutory obligation to consider all proposed alterations to the Definitive Map and Statement.
A Temporary Closure or Diversion of a PRoW may be requested to allow works to take place or for reasons of public safety. Please see the relevant section for more information:
Temporary closures or diversions
Permanent closures or diversions
Claiming and creating new routes
Register of PRoW schemes