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MPRE - Our Online Guide

Managing Private Roads and Estates ("MPRE") is our practical guide to the management of private roads and estates. It's intended to complement our printed book, Private Roads: The Legal Framework (now in its 5th edition).

MPRE is an online guide:  it is not available to the general public, but is only for the use of current members of PRS.

Each chapter of MPRE is a separate pdf file, and members who are logged in can download the  chapters from the table below by clicking in the left hand column:  e.g. click on "1-Background" to download chapter 1.  There is also an Appendix containing model letters and other precedents. These are pdf files.


Updates and comments

Our aim is that MPRE should be kept up to date in a way which is not possible with a printed book, responding to legal and other developments and to requests and comments from users. We welcome feedback from members about passages which are not clear, or don't seem to answer the questions which members have, and about issues which are not covered.  Equally, we will be happy to add to the list of model letters and other precedents on request.

 Managing Private Roads and Estates



1 - Background

History of private roads in England and Wales — Information about them:  numbers and records — Distribution of private roads— Need for management by residents — Applicable law — Aims of Private Roads Services

2 - Organising

Choices of legal form — Advantages and disadvantages — Changing legal form — The best of both worlds? — Changing rules — Subscriptions and other payments

3 - Information

Introduction — law and practice — Legal status of the road — Ownership of the road — Planning and related issues — Recreational use — Private use — Privacy and data protection — Communicating with residents — Communicating with local government — Defamation and other issues

4 - Ownership

Introduction: history — Disadvantages of not owning the road — Acquiring title (Tracing the owner, Adverse possession, Presumptions, Buying from a third party, Adoption by the local authority) — Verges and other areas — Above and below ground

5 - Encroachment

Introduction: the approach of the law —  Private rights of way — Parking — Other possible easements — Adverse possession — Highways — Town and village greens — Encroachment by a residents’ association or company

6 - Maintenance

Introduction — Hard surfaces — Unsurfaced roads — Surface water drains — Insurance — Subsidence — Trees, shrubs and plants — Volunteers — Contractors — Paying for maintenance.

7 - Services

Introduction —  Water supply —  Waster water and effluents —  Legal powers generally — Nature of legal powers —  Wayleaves and other payments —  Road works and residents' associations

8 - Development

Introduction — Influencing planning decisions — Public rights of way and related issues — Private rights of way and related issues — Restrictive covenants — Granting new rights of way — Dealing with developers — Objectives — Other action — Minor planning issues.

9 - Managing risk

Introduction: risk generally — Limited companies — Accidents — Standards of care — Some specific issues — Warning notices — The cost of risks — Health and safety issues — Insurance — After the event ("ATE") insurance.

Appendix - model letters etc

[Model letters to residents (various issues) - buyer's solicitors - neighbour (permission to use road) - Local authority (alleged highway;  use of powers) - Freedom of Information Act notice]


Members: please log in to access the full content.


For more information, please see our FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) page for more information about:

  • Private roads and estates
  • Our insurance scheme
  • How we can help
  • Contacts