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Gates, stiles and similar structures on paths are the means by which the public can cross fencing, hedges or walls. They are deemed to be an obstruction unless authorised as follows:
Gates and stiles belong to the farmer/owner of the land on which the structure is located.
Any gate or stile in situ and not authorised as above is an illegal obstruction no matter how accessible and when such a structure is brought to the attention of the highway authority, action will be taken to either secure its removal or, if appropriate, grant consent.
The law does not allow for the provision of gates and stiles in other circumstances, eg they are not allowed when a landowner or householder makes an application simply to secure their boundaries. In this situation, either a gap should be left in the boundary fencing or the farmer/owner may seek a diversion at their own expense.
If you are granted permission to erect a structure across a PRoW the following conditions apply:
Make an application to erect a structure using the Consent for a Structure on a Public Path form below and send it to:
Essex County Council
Public Rights of Way
Victoria Road South
We will supply you with a technical drawing setting out the specifications for the structure that you can construct yourself.
Once the structure is built and installed a PRoW Officer will need to inspect and issue consent for the structure.
Consent for a Structure on a Public Path - PDF(130.9KB)
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