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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-21818: Finlay Carson (Galloway and West Dumfries)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 26 February 2019

To ask the Scottish Government, where a core path has been routed across a residential garden area, whether the landowner can request that it be re-routed; who is responsible for determining such a decision, and who is responsible for meeting the costs of a re-routed path.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 5 March 2019

Where a core path has been routed across a residential garden area, the landowner can submit a request to the relevant ‘access authority’ - the local authority or, within a national park, the National Park Authority - that the core path be re-routed.

Responsibility for determining such a decision lies initially with the access authority. The process is set out in section 20 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 (LRSA). Alternatively, if the request relates to a planning matter, the relevant planning authority has powers under section 208 and Schedule 16 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997.

There are no duties placed on any bodies for meeting the costs of a re-routed path, unless an obligation is conferred for example within a path agreement (section 21 of the LRSA), or relating to a path order (section 22 of the LRSA), planning consent, or duty of care.

Core paths networks may comprise a range of surfaces, including natural grass, beaten earth, farm and forestry tracks, quiet minor roads and pavements, and other artificial surfaces. The access authorities have powers to undertake works and are responsible for determining their local priorities and the allocation of their resources. Other funding sources are also available, for example through Sustrans Community Links.