LE Walwin and Partners Limited v West Sussex County Council: ChD 1975

The parties disputed the extent of a public bridleway. The definitive map appeared to show a bridleway stopping at a point where it met a footpath. However the definitive statement described the bridleway as running ‘to the foreshore’ ie. beyond the point at which the bridleway met the footpath.
Held: The bridleway extended to the foreshore. The unequivocal statement prevailed because of inconsistencies in the map. In considering the definitive map of right of way, the map and statement must be read together. The map and statement when read together demonstrated that the right of way extended to the foreshore. It is necessary for the interested member of the public only to establish that the map in general shows a path which the statement purports to particularise.
The correct approach to interpretation of the definitive map and statement must be a practical one. They should be examined together with a view to resolving the question whether they are truly in conflict or the statement can properly be read as describing the position of the right of way. If they are in conflict, then the map must take precedence since the discretionary particulars depend for their existence upon the conclusiveness of the obligatory map. Unless the statement can properly be interpreted as describing the same footpath as that shown on the map, then the statement cannot be regarded as conclusive evidence of the position of the footpath shown on the map.
The plaintiffs now claimed to a right to maintain a barrier on certain road on ground of an only earlier partial dedication of it, but was faced with a judgment in 1958, in which the predecessor in title of the plaintiff had been a party to proceedings, before the Quarter Sessions over the status of the same road, and in which the said predecessor in title failed to raise the question of the right to maintain such a barrier.
Held: The failure of the said predecessor in title, and in this context a privy to the present plaintiff, to raise the question estopped the plaintiff from raising the said question and the action failed. It is not open for a party to litigation to raise, subsequent to adjudication, a matter which could, and should have been brought forward in the course of that litigation, after the creation of an ‘estoppel per rem judicatam’


Plowman V-C


[1975] 3 All ER 604


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedErnstbrunner v Manchester City Council and Another Admn 16-Dec-2009
The appellant challenged by case stated a refusal of the Crown Court to order removal of a gate which he said obstructed a public footpath. The land-owner had persuaded the magistrates that the gate was not on the line of the footpath. The claimant . .
CitedNorfolk County Council, Regina (on the Application Of) v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Admn 10-Feb-2005
The claimant sought to challenge the confirmation of a public footpath. Pitchford J described how the court should interpret the definitive map made under the 1981 Act: ‘The correct approach to interpretation of the definitive map and statement must . .
CitedPrice and Another v Nunn ChD 11-May-2012
Applications were made to strike out parts of a Defence and Counterclaim. The relevant parts of this pleading assert the existence of a private right of way, or a public right of way, in either case with or without vehicles, over certain land owned . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Land, Estoppel

Updated: 05 June 2022; Ref: scu.384349