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An adopted road or highway is one where we have the legal responsibility for its maintenance. This is known as Highway Adoption

What is an adopted highway?

An adopted highway or road is one where the Local Authority has taken on the legal responsibility for its maintenance up to a particular standard.

What is an unadopted highway?

An unadopted road is private street which is not maintained at public expense. The public may have a right to use the unadopted road but it is maintained by the local residents rather than the Highway Department.

This means that as a highway authority we are under no obligation to carry out repairs or cleansing to the street. This is true even if it is used as a public right of way.

Streets that are unadopted may be in a condition not meeting the standard of adopted streets.

How do I know if a highway is adopted?

We maintain a record of all the Borough's adopted roads for public viewing.

It is possible to download and view the latest list of adopted streets.

Evidence of the existence or extent of public highways can also be researched by our officers by contacting us.

Enquiries should also refer to the Council's map of urban and rural paths which supplements the List of Streets.

Adoption of private streets

Existing private streets

We have powers under the Private Street Works Code referred to in Section 205 of the Highways Act 1980 to carry out work in a Private Street to bring it up to an adoptable standard. We can then recover such cost from the frontages of the street. We do not have any such schemes in our programme of works. Nor are any streets under consideration at the present time.

Private streets that have been brought up to adoption standard

We may be prepared to adopt a private street that is brought up to standard by a developer or the residents. We can do this using the powers contained in Section 228 of The Highways Act 1980.

Before any work in such a street, an approach should be made to find out the feasibility and any site-specific requirements. Payment of our inspection costs and administrative fees will need to be made if the adoption of the street goes ahead

Minor widening of existing streets

This usually applies when a new development takes place fronting an existing street and there is a Planning need for a new footway.

Section 72 of the Highways Act 1980 allows us to enter into an Agreement with the developer to Dedicate the Land to the Public Highway for the future maintenance to be carried out at Public Expense. The Developer should retain title to the land to be dedicated.

A fee is payable to cover our costs in drawing up the Agreement and supervision charges. These are assessed on the size and complexity of the scheme.

Vehicle crossings on private streets

The responsibility for private streets (including footways and pavements) lies with the street owners. These are usually the people who live on the street.

Section 38 agreements

We have powers to enter into a Legal Agreement with a Developer under Section 38 of the Highways Act 1980 for the adoption of highways on new developments. The Developer having obtained Planning Consent, needs to:

  • Submit the scheme for Technical Approval.
  • Submit the plans to be bound into the Legal Agreement.
  • Secure the completion of the work by a Bond of Surety.
  • Pay a Supervision Fee based upon the estimated cost of the scheme.
  • Pay the Legal Fee.

A copy of the current Adoption Policy Document covering general requirements, procedures relating to the adoption and construction specifications is available free of charge upon request.

Section 38 Agreements are based upon the Model Agreement Roads for Adoption (second edition).

Additional Clauses have been added as follows:

  • Provisions relating to access being made available for cable television ducts to be laid during construction of estate roads if required by Cable Company.

  • The Agreement is noted against the Developer's title at Land Registry.

  • The period of construction will relate to the date that construction starts on site and not when the Section 38 Agreement is signed.

  • Where the Developer fails to complete the whole of the works by the date written into the Section 38 Agreement.

  • The Developer will be responsible for any additional supervision costs incurred by us where these exceed the fee already paid.

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