Road adoption

Road adoption is a term used when we take over the maintenance of a private street (a road or highway which is not maintained at public expense).

This means that we, as the highway authority, are under no obligation to carry out repairs or cleansing to the street, even though it could be a public right of way to which highway or traffic law can be applied.

New roads

New roads which have been constructed in accordance with the our guidelines are normally adopted by way of an agreement between the developer and us under section 38 of the Highways Act 1980.

Existing roads

Existing roads will not normally be adopted unless they are brought up to current standards by the owners of the road. It may be for example:

  • unpaved
  • without kerbs
  • footways
  • surface water sewers
  • gullies and lighting
  • and its surface is probably in a bad condition 

Improving private streets

We may resolve to raise the standard of a private street by providing any or all of the missing features, or by improving any existing features. This is done under the provisions of sections 205 to 218 of the Highways Act 1980 (known as the Private Street Works Code).

These works are undertaken at the expense of the owners of the road or of the properties fronting onto it. This procedure enables us on completion of necessary remedial works, to adopt the street as a highway maintainable at public expense.

Development control team

Our development control team oversee the procedures for the adoption of new roads in the Borough to an acceptable standard so that we as local highway authority, take on the maintenance responsibility.

This team also provides advice to planning design & control, developers and the public on transportation issues in planning proposals such as parking, access and accessibility for all modes of transport.

Access to highways

Any access, or alterations to an existing access, to a classified road requires planning permission.

Access to a non-classified road is normally permitted if it is in association with 'permitted development rights' for example forming an access to a residential hardstanding area. However, any such 'permitted rights' do not normally allow an access to be formed in a dangerous location.

It is recommended that should anyone be considering forming an access they should contact the local planning authority and seek their advice on whether planning permission is required.

Page last updated: 25 February 2021
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