Unadopted Roads: Housing Estates

Department for Transport written question – answered at on 26 July 2022.

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Photo of Damian Hinds Damian Hinds Conservative, East Hampshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if officials in his Department will hold discussions with representatives of the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport on standardising procedures and requirements across local highways authorities to increase the number of housing estate roads for adoption by specifying minimum adoption standards and enable developers to offer those roads for adoption.

Photo of Damian Hinds Damian Hinds Conservative, East Hampshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of amending the Advance Payment Code to empower local highway authorities to resolve unresolved section 38 Highways Act 1980 negotiations.

Photo of Karl McCartney Karl McCartney Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

Local authorities are responsible for the setting their own design standards for their streets. It is not possible to design national standards as every community is different. It is entirely a matter for individual authorities to decide the standards for their network. The Department provides good practice guidance to assist local authorities in setting design standards

Where a developer obtains planning permission for a new development they will consider how or if they wish the roads on that development to be adopted. They may seek to have roads on that development adopted by entering into an agreement with the highway authority under the Highways Act 1980, or they may decide that their development will remain private and that the roads will not become public highway – for example as in a gated community.

Local authorities can use planning conditions or section 106 planning obligations to secure a commitment from developers to provide and maintain communal spaces and facilities. It is up to developers and local planning authorities to agree appropriate funding arrangements for developments with common areas or shared services. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities are responsible for planning policy.

No assessment has been made of amending the advance payment code to resolve section 38 Highways Act 1980 negotiations. We have previously published an advice note on the process of adopting private roads into the public road network and an updated version is to be published shortly.

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