PROPOSALS in the Deregulation Bill, currently under consultation, could make it easier to reroute historic footpaths under proposals to alter ramblers’ rights to roam.
Farmers and rural homeowners currently have no legal right even to request that rights of way be altered.
Many councils consider such requests but proposals in the Deregulation Bill currently under consultation will automatically give landowners the right.
They will force councils to make decisions within four months and give applicants the right of appeal against decisions for the first time. The proposals also mean landowners will have to be notified if any new public rights of way are proposed, which is currently not the case.
The changes have been welcomed by both landowners and ramblers.
The NFU said it would be safer for walkers if paths are diverted away from farms.
The plans also improve walkers’ rights to propose, record and map rights of way.
A Ramblers’ Association spokesman said: “The Deregulation Bill includes a package of measures which, if taken as a whole, will benefit both walkers and landowners.”