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Road adoption agreements

We ensure that new housing development roads are built to the appropriate standard for adoption. We maintain the statutory record of adopted roads in County Durham and can provide information on their status.

Private streets

The Highways Act 1980 sets out the legal framework. Adopted streets are streets that are maintained at public expense. The maintenance of private or unadopted streets is the responsibility of those with property fronting the street. These streets are usually unmade. Private streets can be adopted by us, but only if the street is made up to the appropriate standard. We can provide advice on how to do this.

Section 38 Agreements

Section 38 of the Highways Act 1980 allows a developer to enter into an agreement with us where the developer agrees to build new roads to our standards, and we agree to adopt these roads on satisfactory completion. We will then maintain them.

Section 278 Agreements

Where the road needs to be improved as a result of a development, for example, a new roundabout at the access to a new supermarket or alterations to the footway where a new road joins with the existing road, the developer will enter into an agreement with us under Section 278 of the Highways Act 1980 to alter the existing road. The agreement ensures that the improvements are paid for by the developer and constructed to an acceptable standard. A developer cannot carry out work on the existing highway without such an agreement.

Register of adopted streets

We maintain the statutory register of adopted streets in County Durham. This is simply a list of streets that we maintain. It is available to view during office hours or on our Which roads and pavements we look after. Together with the current adopted highways and live agreements, the map also identifies those road and traffic schemes relevant to questions 3.4 and 3.6 on the Con 29R Local Authority search form.

If you would like to know more about road adoption agreements, please contact us.


Contact us
Road Adoptions
03000 267 096
Our address is:
  • Regeneration and Local Services
  • Durham County Council
  • County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UQ