The Deregulation Act is likely to come into force in England in the next few months. When you apply for the addition of a path to the definitive map, the surveying authority is required to determine your application within 12 months. If it has not done so, you can apply to the Secretary of State for Environment, or Welsh ministers, for a direction to the council to determine the application.
Once the Deregulation Act takes effect in England, your application must be made to the magistrates’ court rather than the secretary of state. This is a drawback since current court fees are £205 to commence proceedings and £515 for a contested hearing.
So, if 12 months have elapsed since you certified to the council that you have told the owners and occupiers of your application, we urge you to apply now to the secretary of state for a direction to the council, and get in before the Deregulation Act comes into effect. The situation in Wales is less urgent.
For further information, download this new edition in our ‘Taking Action’ series in which our trustee Phil Wadey explains why, in England, it is urgent for applicants for definitive-map changes to challenge councils which have failed to make progress with those applications.