Stopping up the highway (permanent road closures)

When a highway is created, it’s protected by law. Only the highway authority can apply to a Magistrates Court to have the highway rights removed and restrict public access. This process is known as “Stopping up the highway”.

There are times when an existing highway needs to be removed so that the land can be used for development. These requests are typically dealt with through the planning process.

In other cases, members of the public can make a stopping up request if they believe that the highway is unnecessary. It is those requests that are dealt with here.

It’s important to understand that land ownership is a separate issue to stopping up – the two aren’t linked.

Why do we need your information?

The data on this form is collected to facilitate an application to stop up a highway. Hertfordshire County Council will use this information to assess, process, investigate, and review an application to extinguish any existing highway rights that may exist on a piece or parcel of land.

We consider the collection of this information necessary to offer statutory services, in this instance S.116 & S.118, Highways Act, 1980.

What will we do with your information?

The information provided will be held by the Highways department of Hertfordshire County Council and shall be used to process the accompanying application.

How long will we keep your information?

The information that you supply will be kept on file for seven years

What are your rights?

Hertfordshire County Council will be the Data Controller for this information.

You have a number of rights over the data we collect and hold about you

  • You have the right to be informed about what information we hold about you and how we use it.
  • You have the right to request copies of any information the Council holds about you by making a subject access request.
  • If information we hold about you is factually inaccurate you have the right to have it corrected.
  • You have the right to object to the way we are using your data.
  • You have the right to request that your data is deleted. However we may be unable to delete your data if there is a need for us to keep it. In this case you will receive an explanation of why we need to keep the data.
  • You can also request that we stop using your data while we consider a request to have it corrected or deleted. There may be some circumstances in which we are unable to do this however we will provide an explanation if this is the case.
  • In certain circumstances you may also request data we hold about you in a format that allows it to be transferred to another organisation.
  • In the event that decisions are taken using automated processes you have the right to request that these decisions are reviewed by a member of staff and to challenge these decisions.
  • If you would like to request copies of your data, request that your data is deleted or have any other queries in relation to data which the Council holds about you please contact the Data Protection Team.

Data Protection Team
Hertfordshire County Council
County Hall
Pegs Lane
SG13 8DQ
Tel: 01992 588099

You can also contact our Data Protection Officer at or in writing to the address above.

If you are unhappy with the way that Hertfordshire County Council has used your data or with the way we have responded to a request you also have the right to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office

Before you start...

  • Any disputes or practical matters to do with the land need to have been resolved.

  • Make sure you have evidence of any consultations, responses and attempts to resolve any concerns to do with the highway.

When is a highway unnecessary?

We assess this on a case to case basis. Before making an application you should think about the following:

  • Is the highway used by the public?

  • Is it needed so roads or pavements joining it are safe and visible?

  • Is it used to access buildings?

  • Does the highway benefit the surrounding area?

  • Will accommodation works be needed on the rest of the highway so it stays safe and convenient?

  • Does it connect other highways together?

What do I need to include in my application?

Before sending your application, you need to pay for a highway boundary plan.

Email the Highways Boundary team

or write to:

Highway Boundary & Land Charges Team

Room 348 County Hall
Pegs Lane
SG13 8ND

You need to draw the area of the highway onto the plan and attach it to your application form.

You also need to have had written consultation with the following:

  • the local county councillor

  • any owner or occupier of the land near the proposed highway

  • the relevant district council

  • any relevant town or parish council.

Written consent is needed from any party who has legal interest in the land, for example, other landowners.

Once you have sent us your application, we'll respond to you within 6 weeks.

What happens after I send my application?

Stage 1 – application approval

After approximately 6 weeks we'll let you know if your application has been accepted or not.

If it's accepted, we'll make a plan showing the area of the highway in question.

Stage 2 – highways officer survey

A highways officer will do a survey of services that may be affected by the highway. Then we'll arrange to meet on site with you and the Highways Officer to talk about your proposal.

Stage 3 – appealing to the local magistrates' court

Our legal team will take an application to the local magistrates' court for them to review. The team will write to you to let you know they're ready to start the work and will tell you how much it will cost.

You'll need to pay half the total fee before they begin.

They'll also consult with any affected parties including:

  • Parish council / town council

  • District council

  • Statutory undertakers (for example, water or gas)

  • Adjoining landowners

  • Local county councillor

  • Other relevant departments within Hertfordshire County Council

  • The public (notices in newspapers).

This will take approximately 4 months.

Stage 4 – court approval

When the court approve the application, we'll remove the highway rights over the land and free it from the control of the Highway Authority. Control of the land will then go to the freehold or leaseholder and you'll need to negotiate a transfer of the land with them.

We might have to divert services on the highway and you'll need to pay those costs.

Application fees

A highways officer assessment costs £467. It includes an officer assessing the application, visiting the site, advising you on the process and completing a technical plan.

Legal proceedings range from £3,500 to £5,500 and include administration costs and travel expenses.

Cheques can be made payable to Hertfordshire County Council and all fees are non-refundable.