Q&As

How do you find out who owns a culvert located under a highway? Is a culvert under a road a highway drain? Does a highway authority own it/have power to grant rights to drain into it?

read titleRead full title
Published on LexisPSL on 12/08/2016

The following Planning Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • How do you find out who owns a culvert located under a highway? Is a culvert under a road a highway drain? Does a highway authority own it/have power to grant rights to drain into it?

How do you find out who owns a culvert located under a highway? Is a culvert under a road a highway drain? Does a highway authority own it/have power to grant rights to drain into it?

According to Environment Agency guidance on riparian ownership (EA guidance) p 31, a culvert is a covered channel or pipe designed to prevent the obstruction of a watercourse or drainage path by an artificial construction. Culvert is not defined in Water Industry (Schemes for Adoption of Private Sewers) Regulations 2011, SI 2011/1566 or the Water Industry Act 1991 (WIA 1991).

Responsibility for the maintenance of any culverted watercourse usually lies with the ‘riparian owner’, see Practice Note: Riparian ownership—rights and responsibilities for further information. Where the ownership of a watercourse culvert cannot be established, then it is assumed to be the responsibility of the riparian owner. A culvert under a road is not considered a highway drain.

From a practical perspective, different bodies may be responsible for culverts outside of private land depending on the nature of the responsibility and the history and facts of the case, eg the highways authority may have a role to play in terms of the design, construction and maintenance of the culvert (eg under section 100 of the Highways Act 1980 (HiA 1980)), while the relevant

Related documents:

Popular documents