HOME TRUTHS: Can we force council to adopt our cul-de-sac?

Ross Clark answers reader' queries...

The seven-year-old cul-de-sac in which we live was supposed to be adopted by the local county council on completion.

In return for adopting it, the council demanded a £25,000 bond from the developer in case the road required repairs.

In the event, the county council did not adopt the road after complaining about the poor finish, and the developer has since gone into administration. Can we force the council to adopt the road?

Cul-de-sac: If a council did not adopt a road can you force them to? (File image)

Cul-de-sac: If a council did not adopt a road can you force them to? (File image)

You should obtain details of the bond, via a freedom of information request if necessary. It would be odd if the council was entitled to keep the £25,000 without adopting the road.

You could also try to take on the road yourselves.

It is likely that the road belongs to the developer's creditors - you could make an offer to the administrators. You would then have to spend your own money maintaining it.


We built a doorstep that finishes above our damp-proof course and now we have damp coming through the wall. What can we do?

You should have installed a vertical damp-proof course between the doorstep and the wall. You can solve the problem by reprofiling the top of the step to ensure rainwater rolls off it.


The house that we built last year has a balcony. Shortly after moving in, a neighbour complained and we were told that we had permission for only a Juliet-style balcony.

The original plans did show a balcony but the council's enforcement officer told us that we would have to apply for planning permission.

When we did this, the neighbours objected on the grounds that the balcony overlooked their property, and permission was refused. We don't use the balcony for sitting on. We are told that removing the balcony could affect the structure of the house.

You can appeal against a rejected planning application at www.planningportal.gov.uk.

If overlooking is the problem, rectify this by erecting a screen on the side of the balcony facing your neighbour's property or put in a full-height railing.

Contact Ross with your own query at ross.clark@mailonsunday.co.uk

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