Stopping Up Orders
Stopping up orders are usually made to allow development to take place or because the public highway is no longer necessary. Public highway can include roads, streets, footpaths, public car parks, grass verges and footways. Not all roads, streets or footpaths are public highways. Some can be privately owned or maintained. The law relating to such highways is different and the council would not have powers to stop up or maintain them.
We have the power to stop up areas designated as highway land by making orders known as a 'stopping up' order. The term 'stopping up' means that once such an order is made, the highway land ceases to be a highway, road or footpath.
The most frequently used powers are:
- Section 247 Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) - using this power a public highway can be 'stopped up' to allow development to take place if it has received or may receive planning permission; these orders may sometimes create new highways or footpaths.
- Section 116 and 118, Highways Act 1980 - under this Section a public highway can be stopped up because it is no longer in use.
If an order is successfully made on the public highway, then the land is free of any Highway Authority control. It is common law presumption that the subsoil of the area stopped up reverts to the landowners. The land can then be enclosed or developed, subject to any necessary planning consent.