If planning permission has been granted and your proposed development
will require a footpath, bridleway or restricted byway to be stopped up
or diverted to allow the development to take place, you should apply to
the relevant local authority asking it to use its powers under section
257 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to do so.
Alternatively, following the amendment of Section 257 by the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013, an order may be made in anticipation of planning permission. However, an order made in advance of planning permission cannot be confirmed by either the authority or the Secretary of State until that permission has been granted.
It is up to the local authority to decide whether your proposals for stopping up or diversion are acceptable and you should not presume that the granting of planning permission will automatically be followed by the making of the order, or the confirmation of an order made in advance of permission.
Consequently, the Government encourages applicants and local
authorities to consider rights of way issues at an early stage of the
planning process, to minimise the overall impact of the proposal on the
right of way, and reduce the risk of delay at a later stage.
If a local authority makes an order and any objections to it cannot be resolved, the local authority has to refer it to the Secretary of State for determination. These are determined by the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the Secretary of State.