Portsmouth City Council is inviting landowners and members of the public to assist with the production of a new public rights of way map.

The public rights of way map is a legal document (known officially as a Definitive Map and Statement) which sets out areas and paths that are open to everyone. As the surveying authority for Portsmouth under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, we have a legal obligation to record and officially recognise these areas by a sealed order.

While responding to a direction from the Planning Inspectorate regarding the Camber Rights of Way Order, it has emerged that we no longer hold the official sealed copy of the Map and Statement.

The last record of the council holding a paper copy of the Definitive Map and Statement was in 2011, when a digital copy was made.

Pam Turton, Portsmouth City Council's assistant director for transport, said. "While we have digital copies of the public rights of way in Portsmouth, we are legally obliged to hold a sealed paper copy of the Definitive Map and Statement, which we no longer have.

This public consultation allows us to ensure the information we hold is accurate, so we want to encourage anyone who is aware of a public right of way to get in touch. We are writing to landowners and making this consultation public so anyone who uses a public right of way can contribute to the process of creating a new Definitive Map and Statement. We are doing all that we can to rectify this."

The aim of the consultation is to identify an officially recognised public right of way which is missing from the council's provisional Definitive Map; a public right of way which should no longer be included in the Definitive Map as it has been withdrawn, or a description of a public right of way which is incorrect.

A public right of way is defined as a footpath, bridleway, restricted byway or byway open to all traffic which can be used by all members of the public.

We will be consulting on the Definitive Rights of Way map and Statement between Monday 3 December 2018 and Sunday 27 January 2019. The survey, and digital rights of way maps, can be found here. Paper copies of the consultation are also available by contacting 023 9283 4083.

The consultation relates to the proposed Definitive Map and Statement only. To register an application for creating, diverting, modifying or withdrawing a public right of way, please contact rightsofway@portsmouthcc.gov.uk