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The pressure to develop is well-known, and applies in private roads as well as public ones.  Residents individually may wish to carry out and profit from development such as “back-land" development (houses in back gardens).   Residents collectively may wish to oppose development, particularly if the density of new housing is high.

The planning system in its current form, as is equally well-known, favours the building of more housing. Nonetheless, reasons to oppose inappropriate development, and resist planning applications, can often be found.

A separate question is whether residents have the ability to prevent development taking place by refusing to grant additional rights of way. Here the position may well be complicated, since there may be differences of opinion about the existence of a public right of way,  and the existence or scope of private rights of way.

Private Roads: The Legal Framework (5th ed) deals in depth with public and private rights of way and outlines the operation of the planning system. Of particular relevance in relation to public rights of way in private roads is Part 6 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006, which ended public rights of way for motor vehicles in most private roads. 

Our online resources for members include a chapter in Managing Private Roads and Estates on the subject of development; and a Code of Practice for Development which residents' associations can use with the aim of regulating the disturbance and damage caused by the carrying out of development.


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