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National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

31Determination by quarter sessions of disputes as to provisional maps and statements

(1)At any time within twenty-eight days after the publication of a notice under subsection (1) of the last foregoing section, the owner, lessee or occupier of any land shown on the map to which the notice relates, being land on which the map shows a public path, or a road used as a public path, may apply to quarter sessions for a declaration—

(a)that at the relevant date mentioned in the provisional statement there was no public right of way over the land ;

(b)that the rights conferred on the public at that date by the public right of way over the land were such rights as may be specified in the application, and not such rights as are indicated in the provisional map and statement;

(c)that the position or width of that part of the land over which the public right of way subsisted at the said date was as specified in the application, and not as indicated in the provisional map and statement; or

(d)that the public right of way over the land at the said date was not unconditional but was subject to limitations or conditions specified in the application, or, if the said right is indicated in the provisional statement as being subject to limitations or conditions, that the said right was subject to other limitations or conditions specified in the application either in addition to or in substitution for those indicated in the provisional statement.

(2)Provision may be made by or under regulations made by the Secretary of State—

(a)for prescribing the court of quarter sessions to which applications under this section are to be made or for requiring such applications to be made to a committee, being either an existing committee or a committee specially constituted for the purpose as may be prescribed by the regulations, of such court of quarter sessions as may be so prescribed ;

(b)for the form and manner in which such applications are to be made, and the persons who are to be entitled to-be parties to the hearing of any such application;

(c)as to the publication or service of notice of proposals to make such applications;

(d)for the awarding of costs in any proceedings under this section.

(3)If on the hearing of an application under subsection (1) of this section, being an application for a declaration under paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of that subsection, it is not proved to the satisfaction of the court or committee—

(a)in the case of an application under the said paragraph (a), that there was at the relevant date a public right of way over the land,

(b)in the case of an application under the said paragraph (b), that the rights conferred on the public by the public right of way over the land at the said date were rights other than those specified in the application, or

(c)in the case of an application under the said paragraph (c), that the position or width of the part of the land therein mentioned was other than that specified in the application,

the court or committee shall make the declaration sought by the applicant.

(4)Where the court or committee make a declaration in the case of an application under the said paragraph (a) and it is proved to their satisfaction—

(a)that there was at the relevant date a right of way to which this Part of this Act applies over land other than that to which the application relates, and

(b)that the said right is the right of way which the surveying authority had in view when they showed on the map the disputed public path or road used as a public path,

the court or committee may, if satisfied that every owner, lessee and occupier of any of the land mentioned in paragraph (a) of this subsection has had an opportunity of appearing before them, make a further declaration that a public right of way as specified in the declaration subsisted over that land at that date.

(5)Where, in the case of an application under paragraph (b) or paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of this section, the court or committee do not make the declaration sought by the applicant, but the true nature of the rights conferred on the public by the public right of way in question or, as the case may be, the true position or width of the part of the land over which the public right of way subsisted at the relevant date (being different both from that specified in the application and from that indicated in the provisional map and statement) is proved to the satisfaction of the court or committee, the court or committee may make a declaration accordingly:

Provided that the court or committee shall not make a declaration under this subsection unless they are satisfied that every owner, lessee and occupier of any land which would be affected by the declaration has had an opportunity of appearing before them.

(6)A declaration under paragraph (d) of subsection (1) of this section shall not be made unless the matters to be stated in the declaration have been proved to the satisfaction of the court or committee hearing the application.

(7)Section twenty of the Criminal Justice Act, 1925, (which provides for appeals to the High Court by way of case stated on a point of law) shall with the necessary modifications apply in relation to applications under this section.

(8)Subject to the last foregoing subsection and to the next following section, a declaration made under this section shall be conclusive evidence of the matters stated in the declaration.

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