Sale or Auction of third party land with adopted status

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As the Highway Authority, the Council is responsible for the maintenance of the adopted highway within the Borough. 

There may be displayed auction/sale advertisements on online/verge of the adopted highway. These sales are only 3rd party sales (sub soil) and not inclusive of the adopted highway (Top soil). 

The 3rd party sales of the subsoil is permissible. There is a formal application to stop-up the highway, called the Stopping up. It would be a breach of the Highways Act 1980 to build on the adopted Highway.

If you have any queries or concerns about the above, please contact us.

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Points to consider

  • Ownership of the land will need to be established. This is completed through a HM Land Registry Title Deed and Plan search.
  • The land registry plan is indicative and not conclusive proof of land ownership boundaries, and this is clearly stated by the HM Land Registry on all plans supplied.
  • Consideration must be taken to whether the parcel of land is covered by any highway adoptions and considerations such Public Rights of Way or access across the land.
  • Land ownership is separate to highway boundaries. Only the surface of the highway is vested in the highway authority and it is common that the sub-soil is privately owned. This means a parcel of land can be in private ownership but has been dedicated under statute and part of the adopted highway.
  • The Highway Authority would not be in support of any application to remove the adopted greenspace.
  • If the parcel of land forms part of the adopted highway, it would be illegal for any 3rd party owner to build on the land.
  • The Highway Authority unfortunately has no power over the sale of the subsoil of any parcel of land in private ownership.

The owner of the land can however make a formal application to stop up the highway considered part of the land. This process is known as “Stopping Up”.

Highways team : Contact details

For further information, please contact us by:

Highways Team - Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
Town Hall, St Ives Road,
Maidenhead SL6 1RF