Answers To Your Frequently Asked Questions

Q - What highway adoption checks should a homebuyer expect from their solicitor?

A – The Local Government Ombudsman states the average practitioner should do the following:

Q - What is meant by the word `Adoption` in relation to the sewers, highway or public open space associated with my property?

A – The term `Adoption` in this respect relates to ownership status of the asset in question. When a highway is `Un-Adopted` it means it is still in private ownership and therefore not public and hence under the management or responsibility of the local council.

Q – Should I care if my site is adopted or not?

A – Yes! There are major consequences and disadvantages to living on an un-adopted housing estate (Refer to - The Risks & Disadvantages).

Q – What is a section 38 (Public Highways Act 1980) or 104 Agreement?

A – These are standard legal agreements entered into by the adopting party (Local Council or Water Company) and the developer promising that adoption will take place and hence protecting the residents and giving the peace of mind that the roads and sewers will not remain private.

Q – What is the likely reason that my site is not adopted?

A – Developers and councils often give varying reasons why a site has not been adopted. In our experience however it is often simply the case that the developer does not want to spend any more money on getting the site adopted and receives little pressure or guidance from the adopting party to do so. This is despite a legal agreement being in place promising residents that adoption will be achieved.

Q – Can I do anything to get my site adopted?

A – YES! Too many people over the years have been `fobbed off` by water companies and local councils who try to diminish themselves of any responsibility simply blaming the developer! A united voice and people power has seen us help residents throughout the UK subject enough pressure to the various parties resulting in the ultimate adoption of their housing estate.

Q – What if my council or water company says they have done all they can and they are waiting on the developer?

A – This is unacceptable, us as residents should not be passed from pillar to post. The responsibility is initially with the developer but councils seldom embrace in pro active methods to neither facilitate adoption nor utilise the numerous sanctions they can take such as serving notice on the offending builder. If you receive this as a response we can demand to be presented with evidence that pro-active measures are being undertaken to protect us the exposed resident and tax payer.

Q – Once my housing estate has been adopted will it cost me more?

A – Not at all! This is a massive misconception..... in fact you can actually realise savings by getting a site adopted. At present you will be paying the same council tax and sewer discharge rates as people on neighbouring adopted sites.

Q - Can my local council adopt my highway if the sewers aren’t adopted?

A – This is a common issue and often used as an excuse by Highway Authorities as the reason why adoption of the roads and footpaths haven’t taken place. Some councils do require the adoption of the sewers to have been achieved but rarely speak with the water company which is disappointing as the council can influence water companies and even use previously referred to sanctions to force the developer to take the necessary actions.

Q – What if my housing estate does not have a legal adoption agreement in place?

A – The reasons for this maybe as the sewers and highway were never intended to be made public or simply the case that the agreement was drawn up yet not sealed. We recommend in these instances you contact us ( with your site details for further assistance and guidance.

Q – What if the original builder of my housing estate has been taken over?

A – No problem – The Company that acquired the assets of the original builder will have also taken on the responsibilities of all the un-adopted schemes that they had built.

Q – What if the original builder of my housing estate no longer exists or has gone bust?

A – Nearly all adoption agreements will have a third party bondsman named in place (usually the bank) as an insurance for exactly this situation. The bondsman assumes all responsibility and has to pay for any works required to achieve adoption so protecting you the homeowner from ever being stuck living on an unadopted estate.

Q – How much will it cost me to work with R.A.A.G in campaigning to get my site adopted?

A – Nothing, we provide our services on a completely voluntary basis and pride ourselves in providing support and assistance to concerned and exposed residents.

Q – Are there any R.A.A.G recommended contractors or consultancies that can help us organising and completing the necessary works to achieve adoption?

A - As an independent impartial organisation we are unable to publically endorse or recommend any third party organisations. We are aware of companies and are happy to provide feedback or advise of people if site specific enquiries are received. It is however worth noting that the responsibility is with your developer and local council and should not have to be driven by you once the initial stimulus has been made.

Note: Should you require any further information or still have outstanding question please feel free to submit your enquiry to us using our contact form.

The greatest launch pad to provoking activity in these instances is undoubtedly
... People Power!

A proven track record of helping frustrated residents to achieve adoption of their highway and sewers.