Landowner Deposits (made under Section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980)

Land can be recorded as highway on the definitive map on the basis of “presumed dedication”. This means that if the public has used land as a path without force, secrecy or permission for 20 years and the landowner did not interrupt that use, it could give rise to the presumption that the land is highway.

A landowner can deposit a highway statement and map which acknowledge whether any paths have already been dedicated across his land as highway. If any path does exist across their land, they must indicate in the highways statement what types of path they are and show on the map where on their land they are located.

Landowners may then within 20 years of the statement lodge a highways declaration that confirms that they did not dedicate any additional paths over the land, or only those mentioned in the declaration. By completing both steps the landowner confirms their intention not to dedicate any paths. Declarations do not affect anything which took place prior to the deposit of a statement.

These deposits follow the same procedure as Landowner Statements made under Section 15A(1) of the Commons Act 2006 (for town and village green purposes) and both are submitted on the same form known as a CA16.

For further information on how to submit an application please see our apply to register a Landowner Deposit page.