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The Public Rights Over Land Conference - New Square Chambers


The Public Rights Over Land Conference - New Square Chambers
The Public Rights Over Land Conference - New Square Chambers
Thu, 20 May 2021, 14:00 - 16:00
Online (live webinar)


Chambers is delighted to invite you to our Public Rights Over Land Conference: Public Rights of Way, Commons and Village Greens, to be held on Zoom on 20th May 2021 at 2pm - 4pm. 

The conference will be chaired by George Laurence QC.

The conference will take the form of three separate discussions, each involving two members of chambers who will cover the following topics.

We very much welcome questions in advance of the conference on the topics to be discussed. This will be considered during the individual sessions or in the plenary session session afterwards

Simon Adamyk & Raj Sahonte will discuss:

Importance of curtilage, and the test for diverting public rights of way

  • Importance of curtilage - what is it and what is the test for it?
    • Court of Appeal provides valuable new guidance 
    • What is the impact on the Commons Act 2006, planning legislation, listed building legislation, Covid legislation, and generally?
    • Is a 115 acre airport part of the curtilage of the terminal building?
    • What is the role of the test of ancillariness?
    • R (Hampshire CC) v Blackbushe Airport Ltd [2021] EWCA Civ 398
  • Diversion of a public footpath or bridleway - what exactly is the test?
    • Court of Appeal provides valuable new guidance
    • Are the factors expressly set out in section 119 Highway Act 1980 an exhaustive list of the relevant factors or can the Inspector take into account other factors as well?
    • What does this mean for diversion orders (section 119), stopping-up orders (section 118) and creation orders (section 26)?
    • The Open Spaces Society v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs [2021] EWCA Civ 241

Paul WilmshurstEdwin Simpson will discuss:

The impact of COVID-19 on our area of the law and Village Green Update:

  • How should a highway authority or commons registration authority comply with its statutory duties during the pandemic?
    • What should a landowner do if it has suffered detriment as a result of non-compliance?
    • How should village green applications be processed in light of R(St John’s College, Cambridge) v Cambridgeshire County Council [2017] EWHC 1753?
    • Non-determination of DMMOs: can a court compel a highway authority to process an application?
    • Remote and hybrid inquiries: can they work?
    • The impact of the increased use of minor highways
  • Village greens after TW Logistics Ltd v Essex CC [2021] 2 W.L.R. 383 and R. (Lancashire CC) v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; R. (NHS Property Services Ltd) v Surrey CC [2021] AC 194
    • Reconciling landowner use with that of the users of the land
    • What are the implications, if any, for public rights of way claims?

George Laurence Q.C & Guy Adams will discuss:

Ownership of land traversed by public highways (including footpaths or bridleways)

  • It's the client's land anyway, right? Wrong. Where the right of way is publicly-maintainable, its surface belongs to the highway authority, not your client.
  • Are all public footpaths and bridleways publicly-maintainable?  No.  Only if they were created on or before 16 December 1949.  See section 47 (now repealed) of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 (effect preserved by sections 38(2)(a) Highways Act 1959; now see section 36(1) Highways Act 1980.
  • Does it really matter that the council is the owner? Very much so if your client needs to create a private easement over the way and cannot legally do so.
  • Is there learning on all this? Plenty; most recently Barlow v Wigan MBC [2021] QB 229 and Southwark LBC & Ano v Transport for London [2020] AC 914.

To book your place, or if you have any queries, or assistance with booking, please email
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Online (live webinar)
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