Birmingham's Inaction To Be Challenged On Thursday

Birmingham has failed in its statutory duty to properly register the rights of way in Birmingham despite having had twenty years to do it. More recent legislation imposes a cut-off date after which the paths, thought to number around 800, will be lost.

The issue will be raised at a special meeting [1] of the Walking Forum on Thursday 25th September evening at which the Ramblers Association are expected to attend in some numbers.

The statutory duty to prepare a definitive map statement dates from the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. [2] In Birmingham, there is a register of more than 2,500 known rights of way on the 'Register of Streets'.

Birmingham City Council have estimated that one third of these rights of way will need to have a statutory order prepared. [3] Objections to the statutory order can require the test of a Public Inquiry.

John S. Hall, Planning Campaigner for Birmingham Friends of the Earth said:

"Assuming each Public Inquiry needs one week and that there are 40 available weeks in the year, 800 public inquiries could take twenty years to sort out. Our concern is that, through a lack of effort, we risk the loss of important community resources."

Editor's Notes

[1] Birmingham Ramblers Association, who have been pressing for action over the last few years, will be present at the meeting.

[2] Wildlife and countryside Act 1981, Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000

[3] Contact at Birmingham City Council: Doug Hyde, 0121 303 7687