You Ask, We Answer

We’re technical experts in the complex and ever-changing world of civil and structural engineering design and technical approval.

When is stopping up required?

This answer is based on the Link team’s collective experience, which includes involvement in hundreds of projects of varying scales from inception through to construction on site, across the UK over the past 15 years.

Our simple answer is: Whenever you want to remove sections of highway, be it road, footpath, verge or Public Right of Ways.

One of Link’s main services involves Section 278 (S278) works to provide access to proposed developments and improvements to the existing highways. In order to agree the works and to maximise the available development land sometimes areas of the existing highway need to be removed. This process is known as a Stopping Up Order.

Stopping up/diversion of the highway requires an order under either the Highways Act 1980 (Section 116-119), or, where the land is part of a planning application, the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (Section 247 & 248).

Most commonly on our projects a Stopping Up Order is progressed under the appropriate Section of the Town and Country Planning Act with the Department for Transport with the support of a planning consent (although this is not entirely necessary). Link’s role is to highlight areas where stopping up is required, prepare the plans needed to complete the paperwork for the order and post consultation notices across the area to be stopped up.

As part of the order process the Local Highway Authority (LHA) will consult on the application to the following parties:

  • Town/Parish council
  • Statutory undertakers i.e. gas, water
  • Owners and occupiers of all adjoining land affected by the proposed order
  • Local county councillor
  • Interest groups
  • Other council departments

If objections are received the application is progressed in the following way:

  • Negotiate with any objector(s) to try and resolve any issues arising
  • Amend the area to be stopped up/diverted
  • Amend the application to reserve rights for pedestrians, horses or cycles Reject the application

Things to note if a Stopping Up Order is required:

  • Timescales – process can take 4-6 months to complete
  • Costs to cover legal and consultee costs
  • Landowner(s) land to be stopped up – when a section highway is stopped up the land will revert back to the ownership of the landowner. This can create access issues for certain sites and in the worst case could create ransom strips.
  • If you want to Stop Up a trunk road (Highways England) you must complete a de-trunking order, which reverts the highway to the LHA, and then complete a Stopping Up order with the LHA.
  • Once a section of highway is stopped up it is no longer maintainable at public expense and maintenance of the land will be the responsibility of the landowner.
  • Any services or other assets within the area stopped up could require wayleaves and easements to protect the future rights of access.

If you are looking at a site which could potentially require a stopping up order and want to know more about the process, Link can help. Please contact us at and we would be more than happy to provide you with some site specific advice.

Apr 19, 2022