Private roads

The study of British and Irish roads - their construction, numbering, history, mapping, past and future official roads proposals and general roads musings.

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owen b
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Re: Private roads

Post by owen b » Mon Feb 11, 2019 22:44

JF2309 wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 16:49
I live on one. Its coated in tarmac, a little speed bump at the bottom and you can even have a drive about if you want, nothing is restricted from entering, its a semi-rural cul-de-sac built in the Mid 80s. We pay an annual service charge for our bins, gritting (Although sometimes the Staffs CC gritters still come round) and general maintenance.
The first house I had in Luton in the 1990s had a similar arrangement. The houses were on 99 year leaseholds and the communal gardens and the access cul de sac were maintained through the ground rent / service charge on the leases. I don't think this is very unusual.
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Euan
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Re: Private roads

Post by Euan » Mon Feb 11, 2019 22:52

Kelvin Way in Glasgow (in Kelvingrove Park west of the city centre) does not appear in Glasgow City Council's list of public roads:

https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=17556

The road is quite clearly open to the public and the same rules appear to apply on it as on any other road. Could the road be owned privately or has the council list just simply missed it by mistake?
E-roads, M-roads, A-roads, N-roads, B-roads, R-roads, C-roads, L-roads, U-roads, footpaths

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Berk
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Re: Private roads

Post by Berk » Mon Feb 11, 2019 23:10

owen b wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 22:44
JF2309 wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 16:49
I live on one. Its coated in tarmac, a little speed bump at the bottom and you can even have a drive about if you want, nothing is restricted from entering, its a semi-rural cul-de-sac built in the Mid 80s. We pay an annual service charge for our bins, gritting (Although sometimes the Staffs CC gritters still come round) and general maintenance.
The first house I had in Luton in the 1990s had a similar arrangement. The houses were on 99 year leaseholds and the communal gardens and the access cul de sac were maintained through the ground rent / service charge on the leases. I don't think this is very unusual.
What happens after someone sells up?? Does a new 99 year lease begin, or just to the remainder of the original term??

And after that’s finished, what then?? :?:

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Berk
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Re: Private roads

Post by Berk » Mon Feb 11, 2019 23:13

Euan wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 22:52
Kelvin Way in Glasgow (in Kelvingrove Park west of the city centre) does not appear in Glasgow City Council's list of public roads:

https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=17556

The road is quite clearly open to the public and the same rules appear to apply on it as on any other road. Could the road be owned privately or has the council list just simply missed it by mistake?
That issue has been raised in other cities like Peterborough. Conversely, in the new townships the council also maintains a register of newly-built roads that are yet to be adopted, slowly crossing them off as they are transferred.
Last edited by Berk on Mon Feb 11, 2019 23:58, edited 1 time in total.

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owen b
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Re: Private roads

Post by owen b » Mon Feb 11, 2019 23:27

Berk wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 23:10
owen b wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 22:44
JF2309 wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 16:49
I live on one. Its coated in tarmac, a little speed bump at the bottom and you can even have a drive about if you want, nothing is restricted from entering, its a semi-rural cul-de-sac built in the Mid 80s. We pay an annual service charge for our bins, gritting (Although sometimes the Staffs CC gritters still come round) and general maintenance.
The first house I had in Luton in the 1990s had a similar arrangement. The houses were on 99 year leaseholds and the communal gardens and the access cul de sac were maintained through the ground rent / service charge on the leases. I don't think this is very unusual.
What happens after someone sells up?? Does a new 99 year lease begin, or just to the remainder of the original term??

And after that’s finished, what then?? :?:
Good question, and the reason I wouldn't buy another leasehold house (legally they are "maisonettes" I think). I am not a housing expert or a lawyer, but my understanding is that there are usually arrangements available to extend the lease or buy it out, but this is not automatic and it does not happen automatically when a property changes hands. The trouble is, as I understand it, it can be expensive to buy out or extend the lease, so it can devalue the resale value of the house if the lease is relatively short, the ground rent typically increases over the life of the lease, and there have been horror stories in the last few years about tenants being trapped in increasingly expensive leases in effectively unsaleable houses. Plus there can be issues if the trustees looking after maintenance are incompetent or difficult.

In my case, the house was early 80s build, I bought it in 1992 as a first time buyer, and sold up in 2000 without difficulty with more than 80 years still on the lease. I didn't have significant problems at any time with the lease or the maintenance arrangements.
Owen

Nwallace
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Re: Private roads

Post by Nwallace » Mon Feb 11, 2019 23:32

There is a reson why Leaseholds and Feus were banned up here.

I'm sure I was reading/talking about Windmill Road in StAndrews at some point recently
https://goo.gl/maps/hoNkQDWUpiG2

The lights are council, but the road isn't.

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Berk
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Re: Private roads

Post by Berk » Tue Feb 12, 2019 00:02

owen b wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 23:27
Berk wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 23:10
owen b wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 22:44
The first house I had in Luton in the 1990s had a similar arrangement. The houses were on 99 year leaseholds and the communal gardens and the access cul de sac were maintained through the ground rent / service charge on the leases. I don't think this is very unusual.
What happens after someone sells up?? Does a new 99 year lease begin, or just to the remainder of the original term??

And after that’s finished, what then?? :?:
Good question, and the reason I wouldn't buy another leasehold house (legally they are "maisonettes" I think). I am not a housing expert or a lawyer, but my understanding is that there are usually arrangements available to extend the lease or buy it out, but this is not automatic and it does not happen automatically when a property changes hands. The trouble is, as I understand it, it can be expensive to buy out or extend the lease, so it can devalue the resale value of the house if the lease is relatively short, the ground rent typically increases over the life of the lease, and there have been horror stories in the last few years about tenants being trapped in increasingly expensive leases in effectively unsaleable houses. Plus there can be issues if the trustees looking after maintenance are incompetent or difficult.

In my case, the house was early 80s build, I bought it in 1992 as a first time buyer, and sold up in 2000 without difficulty with more than 80 years still on the lease. I didn't have significant problems at any time with the lease or the maintenance arrangements.
That’s right. I think the current problem seems to mainly affect new builds which have a sort of ground lease.

Although the homeowner may think they’ve bought the entire property as usual, it actually transpires they’ve just bought the house, the building, not the ground on which it is situated. It seems rather cruel, and unusual to find there is actually another leasehold to be bought out - which may start off fairly cheaply, but as you say, soon grows up.

Luckily you seem to have had a classic leasehold (which was a common way of buying a home up until the 1970s).

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jgharston
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Re: Private roads

Post by jgharston » Tue Feb 12, 2019 00:38

WHBM wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 15:12
Just in case you think Adopted roads are maintained better, this street in Salford had trams abandoned in 1947 but still has the tracks over 70 years later
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.48181 ... 312!8i6656
Wow! I want to go there!

My nephew took me around the Guinness Brewery in Dublin - I spent most of my time photographing the disused tram tracks. :)

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Ruperts Trooper
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Re: Private roads

Post by Ruperts Trooper » Tue Feb 12, 2019 09:02

Berk wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 23:10
owen b wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 22:44
JF2309 wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 16:49
I live on one. Its coated in tarmac, a little speed bump at the bottom and you can even have a drive about if you want, nothing is restricted from entering, its a semi-rural cul-de-sac built in the Mid 80s. We pay an annual service charge for our bins, gritting (Although sometimes the Staffs CC gritters still come round) and general maintenance.
The first house I had in Luton in the 1990s had a similar arrangement. The houses were on 99 year leaseholds and the communal gardens and the access cul de sac were maintained through the ground rent / service charge on the leases. I don't think this is very unusual.
What happens after someone sells up?? Does a new 99 year lease begin, or just to the remainder of the original term??

And after that’s finished, what then?? :?:
The new owner takes over the original lease, so it still expires on the original date - when that happens the property reverts to the freeholder.

It used to be normal to buy a new-build house leasehold and then buy out the freehold, but in more recent times it's normal for buyers to insist on buying freehold.

My son's first house was built in the late '70s which they bought leasehold in 2005 but when they came to sell it last year they had to buy the freehold first - fortunately Bank of Mum & Dad came to the rescue with an interest-free loan until the new mortgage was in place.
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A303Chris
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Re: Private roads

Post by A303Chris » Tue Feb 12, 2019 09:15

Part 1 (2) of the Highways Act 1980 states:
"(2) Outside Greater London the council of a county [or metropolitan district] are the highway authority for all highways in the county [or, as the case may be, the district], whether or not maintainable at the public expense, which are not highways for which under subsection (1)[or(1A) ] above the Minister[or a strategic highways company] is the highway authority."
Basically private means the road is maintained by the landowners adjacent to the road, while a TRO can be applied to the road if agreed with the landowners. However for planning purposes and the suitability of a private road to take extra traffic etc, the Highway Authority is still the determining authority.

This is important in development control when I used to be in a local authority and now in a consultancy as if we are accessing a development from a private road, if that private road does not meet the Highway Authority's design guidelines they can object.
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Octaviadriver
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Re: Private roads

Post by Octaviadriver » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:15

jgharston wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 00:38
WHBM wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 15:12
Just in case you think Adopted roads are maintained better, this street in Salford had trams abandoned in 1947 but still has the tracks over 70 years later
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.48181 ... 312!8i6656
Wow! I want to go there!

My nephew took me around the Guinness Brewery in Dublin - I spent most of my time photographing the disused tram tracks. :)
You'd have a field day in Wroclaw, Poland. When we visit SWMBO's nephew, there are tracks along several roads in the area where he lives.
https://goo.gl/maps/Zu63DfRASs32
I assume they're tram tracks, but if you follow them, they seem to go into industrial areas, so maybe they were for trains or were they going to tram depots? There is still an extensive tram network in the city.

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Re: Private roads

Post by bobinkent » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:33

Mon Feb 11, 2019 15:12
Just in case you think Adopted roads are maintained better, this street in Salford had trams abandoned in 1947 but still has the tracks over 70 years later
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.48181 ... 312!8i6656
This development is on the old Salford Corporation Weaste depot, the frontage was listed and so incorporated into the design. The tracks used to take trams into the back of the depot.

the famous tram tracks are these ones on Cliff Crescent: https://www.google.com/maps/@53.5078505 ... 312!8i6656 where the road collapsed leaving the tram tracks floating out into air, as they still do today.

KeithW
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Re: Private roads

Post by KeithW » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:58

Ruperts Trooper wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 09:02

The new owner takes over the original lease, so it still expires on the original date - when that happens the property reverts to the freeholder.

It used to be normal to buy a new-build house leasehold and then buy out the freehold, but in more recent times it's normal for buyers to insist on buying freehold.

My son's first house was built in the late '70s which they bought leasehold in 2005 but when they came to sell it last year they had to buy the freehold first - fortunately Bank of Mum & Dad came to the rescue with an interest-free loan until the new mortgage was in place.
It was quite normal in London and southern England but quite unusual in other parts of England. The house I bought in South Cambs was freehold but there were a number of leasehold properties in the village. The biggest landowners were in fact Merton College Oxford and the Cambridge colleges of Downing and Clare. Many Cambridge properties both residential and commercial have the freehold owned by the colleges and that is a significant source of income for them. In central London I believe the largest landowners include the Church of England, the Duchy of Cornwall (Prince Charles) along with the Grosvenor, Cadogan, de Walden, Portman, Crown, Ilchester, and Phillimore Estates. The last figures I saw indicated that 50% of properties in London were leasehold a figure that rises to 80% in central London. Across the whole of England and Wales only 25% or so of properties are leasehold and include many of pubs and ex pubs where the landowner was the brewery, In this part of the world (the North East) selling a leasehold property is so hard that owners are advised to buy out the lease before putting it on the market.

There is now a statutory right for most leaseholders to buy the freehold and if there is a dispute on price there is a tribunal to ajudicate a fair value. There is also a legal right for leaseholders who have been tenants for more than 2 years to force the landowner to extend the lease.

A worrying development outside the SE has been developers hanging on to the freehold and selling the houses with a 99 year lease thus extending the revenue stream for themselves. The terms of the lease can be onerous with rents increasing with the Retail Price Index and the leaseholders requiring their consent to any changes. Decide to add a conservatory or garage and you can find yourself with a hefty bill from the land owner. In my humble opinion rule no 1 for any prospective new house owner should be never buy on leasehold.
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Re: Private roads

Post by TheKeymeister » Tue Feb 12, 2019 21:00

Asquith Road in Sheffield is unadopted, and it's a tiny stub that's been left to fall apart. I can only assume it was intended to be extended to run parallel with Vauxhall Road but never happened. Looking at the age of the houses, I'm surprised it wasn't ever adopted as it was probably built by the corporation in the first place.

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Re: Private roads

Post by jgharston » Tue Feb 12, 2019 21:32

bobinkent wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:33
the famous tram tracks are these ones on Cliff Crescent: https://www.google.com/maps/@53.5078505 ... 312!8i6656 where the road collapsed leaving the tram tracks floating out into air, as they still do today.
And if you turn around, you can see where the track used to be in the cobbles.

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jgharston
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Re: Private roads

Post by jgharston » Tue Feb 12, 2019 21:39

TheKeymeister wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 21:00
Asquith Road in Sheffield is unadopted, and it's a tiny stub that's been left to fall apart. I can only assume it was intended to be extended to run parallel with Vauxhall Road but never happened. Looking at the age of the houses, I'm surprised it wasn't ever adopted as it was probably built by the corporation in the first place.
There's quite a few stubs like that around, where the road plan was laid out and development started, but never continued on the original plan.

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Re: Private roads

Post by JF2309 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 01:34

owen b wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 22:44
JF2309 wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 16:49
I live on one. Its coated in tarmac, a little speed bump at the bottom and you can even have a drive about if you want, nothing is restricted from entering, its a semi-rural cul-de-sac built in the Mid 80s. We pay an annual service charge for our bins, gritting (Although sometimes the Staffs CC gritters still come round) and general maintenance.
The first house I had in Luton in the 1990s had a similar arrangement. The houses were on 99 year leaseholds and the communal gardens and the access cul de sac were maintained through the ground rent / service charge on the leases. I don't think this is very unusual.
Exactly that but without but its Freehold. What we pay for in the service charge other than bins and gritting is the upkeep of all the verges, pavements and the road, two communal green areas (Top one and Bottom one as they’re known), top one has got a swing and a timbered climbing frame for the 4.6m kids (Its an epidemic) that have recently been born here. Its good for dog walking aswell. It being an Unadopted wasn’t the reason we moved here, it wasn’t a conscious choice, its just that we liked it.

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Re: Private roads

Post by multiraider2 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 13:58

For a while, I commuted using trains to Kent House station and walking a short way to the tram at Beckenham Road. That route used the, I guess, unadopted Barnmead Road. Was interesting to see this in an otherwise failry typical urban/suburban area. Was challenging on winter evenings after the rain. The good number of commuters who used it did have trouble avoiding water filled holes. Commuters did seem to park there and it was very close to the station. I hadn't seen or heard of anyone being towed from the private land.

I now notice on streetview that since I was last there, its junction with the similar, Plawsfield Road has been paved and surfaced. Further, that Plawsfield Road itself now seems to have had a similar treatment. Now adopted? The locals spent money together?
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Re: Private roads

Post by KeithW » Wed Feb 13, 2019 16:51

multiraider2 wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 13:58
For a while, I commuted using trains to Kent House station and walking a short way to the tram at Beckenham Road. That route used the, I guess, unadopted Barnmead Road. Was interesting to see this in an otherwise failry typical urban/suburban area. Was challenging on winter evenings after the rain. The good number of commuters who used it did have trouble avoiding water filled holes. Commuters did seem to park there and it was very close to the station. I hadn't seen or heard of anyone being towed from the private land.

I now notice on streetview that since I was last there, its junction with the similar, Plawsfield Road has been paved and surfaced. Further, that Plawsfield Road itself now seems to have had a similar treatment. Now adopted? The locals spent money together?
Could be either, I have known unadopted roads where the residents paid the extra for a tarmac surface as it was longer lasting.

Looking at GSV I have to say I like the street lamps - very retro :)

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Re: Private roads

Post by multiraider2 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 17:17

KeithW wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 16:51
multiraider2 wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 13:58
For a while, I commuted using trains to Kent House station and walking a short way to the tram at Beckenham Road. That route used the, I guess, unadopted Barnmead Road. Was interesting to see this in an otherwise failry typical urban/suburban area. Was challenging on winter evenings after the rain. The good number of commuters who used it did have trouble avoiding water filled holes. Commuters did seem to park there and it was very close to the station. I hadn't seen or heard of anyone being towed from the private land.

I now notice on streetview that since I was last there, its junction with the similar, Plawsfield Road has been paved and surfaced. Further, that Plawsfield Road itself now seems to have had a similar treatment. Now adopted? The locals spent money together?
Could be either, I have known unadopted roads where the residents paid the extra for a tarmac surface as it was longer lasting.

Looking at GSV I have to say I like the street lamps - very retro :)
I should have looked at GSV more closely myself, as I note there now is a permit parking scheme in place in both the aforementioned roads, but not for the whole length of them.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

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