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Road Adoptions

As a highways authority, we are consulted on planning applications for developments which:

  • might affect the road network (for example a new vehicular access
  • involve the construction of new roads

Planning applications comprising of large development, are encouraged to enter into a Section 38 Agreement (Highways Act 1980). Under this Agreement a Local Highways Authority can enter into a legal agreement with a developer for the adoption of a new road; provided that the highway has been constructed to a specified standard and to the satisfaction of the local highways authority.

A road adoption is a process where a road in private ownership becomes a public road, which is then managed and maintained by the County Council as part of the public highway.

List of streets

We must publish a list of all streets that are:

  • publicly maintainable (a highway that's maintained by the highway authority at the public's expense)
  • prospectively maintainable (a highway that's currently being constructed or has recently been constructed, where the developer has entered into a Section 38 Agreement (Highways Act 1980) with us)
  • unadopted highway (a highway not maintained by the highways authority at the public's expense)

See the list of maintained streets

New Roads

Road adoption is a term used to describe the council taking ownership of a 'private street'. The road is then maintained at public expense by the Highways Authority.

New roads that have been constructed in accordance with the Council's guidelines are normally adopted by way of an agreement between the developer and the Council under section 38 of the Highways Act 1980. Existing roads will not normally be adopted unless they are brought up to current standards by the owners of the road. It may for example be unpaved, without kerbs, footways, surface water sewers, gullies and lighting or any of these features.

Recently adopted

View Jubilee Gardens (Cottesmore) map

Private Streets

A 'private street' is a road, which is not maintained at public expense. This means that the council, as a highway authority, is 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 and traffic law can be applied.

Dropped kerbs

A dropped kerb cross overs (verge crossing, footway crossing, vehicular crossing or access) are sections of pavements with a lowered kerb connecting a private driveway to the highway. The installation of a vehicle access is paid for by the resident/developer but is maintained by the County Council.

Before constructing a dropped kerb crossing, you must have consent from Highways. You may also need planning permission from us if:

  • The property involved has the frontage directly on to a classified road.
  • The property involved is a listed building.
  • The property involved is other than a house for a single family, e.g. Flat, Maisonette, Commercial or Industrial Premises.

To request an extension to an existing crossing, a new crossing at your home or at an industrial or employment area, please fill in the Vehicle Access Application form

Completed forms should then be emailed or sent to:


Highways Department 
Rutland County Council
Catmose Street
LE15 6HP

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