Unadopted (private) roads

Draft planning conditions to help prepare roads for adoption by local highway authorities.

This publication was withdrawn on

The Adoption of roads by highway authorities has superseded this guidance.


Draft planning conditions and response form

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‘Unadopted’ roads are those roads not maintained by a highway authority as defined by Highways Act 1980. The description of such roads covers a wide range of circumstances.

For most unadopted residential roads the duty to maintain it falls to the frontagers, ie the owners of the property fronting that road, which may include those where the side, or length, of their property fronts the unadopted road. Those buying property on an unadopted street should be made aware of the situation regarding their property and their related liability for the road. Under Highways Act 1980, local highway authorities may adopt streets that they are not currently responsible for maintaining, but this is purely a matter for local decision.

In respect of roads on planned new residential developments a working group of representatives from central and local government has developed this set of draft planning conditions. These draft conditions have been created to assist in preparing such roads for adoption by local highway authorities with the aim of protecting the interests of new residents.

Published 18 September 2012