You must have permission to erect a new gate across a public footpath or bridleway on your land. If you don't it means the gate is unauthorised, and classed as an obstruction to the right of way. Gates can be authorised where they are required to control livestock, for forestry purposes or for breeding or keeping horses. If you wish to install a gate across a public footpath or bridleway for reasons other than the above then please contact us for an informal discussion.
New stiles will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.
You should always apply for authorisation before putting in a new gate on a public footpath or bridleway. If you don't, it could result in enforcement action being taken to remove the structure. If authorised, new gates must not be locked. New gates cannot be authorised on restricted byways or byways open to all traffic.
The landowner or occupier can apply, although they must get consent from everyone who would be affected by the proposal. If you live in the Somerset part of Exmoor National Park, applications should be made to the Exmoor National Park Authority.
There is a charge of £50 for one location, and an extra £10 for additional locations in the same locality. These charges also apply for applications for limitations under s115b Highways Act 1980.
To apply, simply fill in the application form and either email it to us or send it to the address given on the form. Where other people are affected, please get them to fill in the consent form and attach this to your application. Both forms are in Information and resources.
Your application will be investigated and it may be considered that local consultation is required. Applications are usually determined in 4 to 6 weeks.
If your application is approved, we will send you a certificate of authorisation and the new gate will be added as a land charge to the property concerned.
Once installed, we will inspect the new gate to make sure it conforms to your application.
Authorisation of gates is covered in the Maintenance and Enforcement Policy under information and resources.
Where possible, we encourage landowners to seek the most accessible type of structure to reduce inconvenience to members of the public. There are several stockproof designs of gates which provide for easy public access.