Adoption of Private Streets

Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.


If you live on a private road you may be able to apply to get your road adopted.

We will only adopt roads that provide either;

  • benefit to the wider public by providing a link to existing
    • maintained public rights of way
    • highways
    • roads
    • streets
    • footpaths
    • public open spaces, or
  • provide access to land which may have future development potential, and
  • designed and constructed to a suitable standard

If the road does not meet either of these criteria then we are unlikely to consider adoption.

When looking at the design and construction of the road we will consider the following

  • the layout of the street, including the provision of footpaths and turning areas
  • the width of the road, bends, slopes, visibility and junctions
  • how the road has been built and to what standards
  • whether adequate surface water drainage systems are in place
  • the needs of service companies. For example, affected pipes or cables
  • whether street lighting is needed
  • the needs of disabled people
  • any changes required to property boundaries and driveways. For example to accommodate visibility splays, footpaths.

If the road does not meet the required standards then the residents will

  • need to arrange for the road to be made up to an adoptable standard before us adopting it
  • will be responsible for bearing the full cost of the construction works. This includes the costs of us approving and inspecting the works

What to do if you believe your road is eligible for adoption

Consult your neighbours to see if they will support an application. A majority of the owners fronting the road will need to support the application.

You should then submit a plan of the area that you wish to put forward for adoption. Please send the plan to the address shown at the bottom of this page.

We will then confirm whether the road is eligible for adoption and what you will need to do next.

If we are willing to adopt the road you will need to

  • arrange for a competent engineer to draw up the necessary plans for approval
  • consult with utility companies. Works may be required to protect or move their pipes and cables within the road

You should not carry out works on site until we have approved your plans.

For further information on the adoptions process please contact highways-estates@cornwall.gov.uk.

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