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Public highway drains into pond on property – rights and responsibilities

(4 Posts)
Buildabetterworld Tue 06-Nov-12 14:58:46

We have found a wonderful potential new home in a rural hillside hamlet. There is a large pond in the garden, and a stream from the pond through the garden to the neighbours’ property (the garden is on a slope). From information given to us by our (potential) new neighbours it would seem that the drains from the nearby road run into the pond and at times of heavy rain when all the rain washes down the road from the hills and into the drains the pond sometimes overflows into the garden. The neighbours also tell that the oil from the tarmac on the road runs into the pond and into the stream, and indeed we could see some evidence (shiny, oily surface) of this in the water when we looked.

Does anyone know what rights and responsibilities we may have with regards to the pond and drainage? What would be the rights and responsibilities of the council? For example, if the pond/stream needed cleaning of the oil or digging out to improve its capacity to deal with the water flow? If the drains got blocked would we or the council be responsible for sorting it out? I assume that the drains run from the road and underneath the garden until they reach the pond. The road is adopted public highway.

wendybird77 Tue 06-Nov-12 15:08:17

How far away from the house is the pond? I'd be concerned about flooding and insurance law changes coming into effect in 2013. No idea about the rights / responsibilities though - suspect your solicitor would have to sort this out. You could ask for more information from the current owners though?

Buildabetterworld Tue 06-Nov-12 15:48:42

The house is not lived in (a project) and the current owners don't seem to know anything about the drains (the house was lived in by an elderly relative who passed away). The only reason the situation came to our attention was the neighbour (didn't come up on searches or anything but our solicitor is fairly useless). The house is up from the pond and stream so any flooding would only affect the bottom bit of the garden and tbh we think the neighbour may have exaggerated a little bit as we couldn't see much evidence of any widespread flooding (it has been very wet and the garden was fine). We were more concerned about potential financial implications of having to maintain the road drainage though surely as the start of the drain (the grille) is on the road, which is adopted, it would be the council's responsibility to sort out any issues? Also, if someone did start saying something about the oil in the pond & stream (environmental hazard/pollution?), I'm thinking it should be council who sorts it out as the problem/pollution would flow into the pond from the road which is their property?

wendybird77 Tue 06-Nov-12 18:20:42

Solicitor needs to sort it out. Maybe indemnity insurance from the current owners? Good luck!

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