Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Beechfields: An update

On the 13th October 2009 I submitted the following Freedom of Information request.

"1) I would like a copy of the procedure/documentation necessary for Cheshire West and Chester Council to adopt a road that has no section 38 adoption agreement attached to it but has been completed to adoptable standards.

2) I would also like to know the cost of adopting such a road in such a manner."

The following is the response I received to my Freedom of Information request about the time it would take to adopt a road, such as those on Beechfield, together with the associated costs. My emphasis

"The costs of adopting such a road in such a manner in an uncontested case would usually be modest and would arise from the officer time involved in the following elements:-

. Assessing from an engineering point of view that the works were to adoptable standard.

. Surveying/measuring the area for adoption and preparing a plan and description.

. Preparing a site notice and erecting a site notice on site and subsequently removing it together with related correspondence.

. Adding the site to the statutory list of streets and the internet gazetteer of maintainable streets.

In a straightforward case, such a procedure could be completed in an estimated total of, say, 10 hours by all officers involved but would be undertaken as and when other priorities permit."

Around the end of February, beginning of March 2010, Cheshire West and Chester Council put up the 30 day statutory notices under section 228 of the Highway Act on the Beechfields development.

Section 228: Adoption of private street after execution of street works

(1) When any street works have been executed in a private street, the street works authority may, by notice displayed in a prominent position in the street, declare the street to be a highway which for the purposes of this Act is a highway maintainable at the public expense, and on the expiration of one month from the day on which the notice was first so displayed the street shall, subject to subsections (2) to (4) below, become such a highway.

Vale Royal Borough Council executed the works during 2001 and the highways to the West were adopted by them during 2005, however, they did not, as they should have done, adopt Beechfields and the associated roads at that time.

Even now some 4 months after putting up the statutory notice the roads are still shown as unadopted in the adopted road gazetteer.

Read again the process above for adopting roads similar to those on Beechfields and ask yourself what are Cheshire West and Chester Council hiding? Particularly when you also take into account that the so called public open space and play area adjacent to Beechfields are still in the hands of a developer. Please refer to the previous post.

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