Shropshire Council

Development related FAQs

In this section, you'll find the answers to some of the more frequently asked questions received by the highways development team.

Is my road/street adopted?

The highway authority keeps a list of all highways that it maintains. The list can be viewed at the Shirehall, where you can check to see if a street or road is adopted. For this we have an appointment system - please ring 01743 255493 or email should you wish to view the lists of streets.

Please note that we do not provide this information over the phone.

Do I need planning permission to create a vehicular access onto a public highway?

In general, if the adjacent highway is unclassified, creating a vehicular access is permitted development when it accompanies other work to the property. For highways with a higher category than unclassified, you will require planning permission. There are other exceptions. If, for example, you're in a conservation area, have a listed building or have a tree preservation order, you will need planning permission. The planning authority can advise you accordingly. You can contact the planning authority on 0345 678 9004.

Do I need permission to construct a vehicular access over a verge or footway?

If the access crosses a verge or footway, you'll need an S184 (Highways Act) crossing consent. You can download the form  - Apply for Vehicle Access.

Can you provide me with copies of Ordnance Survey plans?

The licence agreement we have with the Ordnance Survey doesn't allow us to give you copies from Ordnance Survey maps, although you can buy them from retailers. More information can be found on the Ordnance Survey website.

Can you provide me with a plan showing the extent of the highway?

We can, for which we normally make a charge of £57.50. If, however, you require a large area, for example for first estate registration, please ring 01743 255493 or email ask for an estimate of costs.

Can I pay for extents of highway or vehicular accesses applications with a credit card?

We can take payments if you are the card holder. Please phone 01743 255495.

Can you tell me who owns a parcel of land?

We can if it's a building or parcel of land of ours. Take a look at our Assets and Estates webpages to find out more. To find out who owns other land, you should contact the Land Registry.

Can you tell me if a sewer is adopted?

Sewers are usually maintained by the water companies, and you should contact them. In Shropshire it will be Welsh Water, Severn Trent Water or United Utilities. There are, however, drains maintained by us. Our drainage and flooding pages give more information.

I've bought a house on a new estate within which the developer tells me there is a grassed service strip. What is a grassed service strip?

The service strip forms part of the highway, normally 1.8 metres wide from the road edge, delineated by an edging kerb. It usually has electricity cable, telephone cable, water and gas pipes at varying depths running beneath it. It is important for safety reasons to control what happens in the service strips.

It is possible to maintain the service strip as part of your garden.

My street sign is missing or damaged. Who do I need to contact?

You should report the problem to Customer Services on 0345 678 9006 or use the online reporting form.

How do highways become public highways?

In brief, before 1835 a road became a highway by use and permission of the land owner. In 1835 an act of Parliament established the county surveyor, responsible for the maintenance of public highways. From 1835, the highway became maintainable at public expense, when the county surveyor formally adopted the road.

The current Highway Act dates from 1980, and includes powers used by a highway authority to adopt roads. For example, new housing estate roads are normally adopted under a Section 38 Agreement.

There is a planning application near me which I am concerned about. Can I see the highway authority comments to the planning?

Our response to planning is open to public inspection. You can view the planning file by phoning 0345 678 9004 and making an appointment. You can also access our comments using the Planning Portal.

I am concerned that a planning application nearby will make the roads more dangerous. To whom should I write to express my concerns?

The planning system is designed to allow for public opinion to be fed into it. It's the planners who consider all the evidence and representations before it. The planners must then attach such weight as they consider appropriate to the various issues, and make a decision on the planning application. You should therefore write to the planners.

Can I erect a sign on the highway?

Signs on the highway must meet strict criteria and be authorised by the highway authority. This is for highway safety reasons. No other signs are allowed on the highway. If you wish to ask for a sign on the public highway - for example, a brown tourist sign - please refer to our Traffic Management pages.