Southampton Clean City: Fly Tipping Prevention and Removal

As the local highways authority, the council only has a statutory duty to maintain areas of adopted highway. The council has no statutory responsibility to maintain areas of unadopted highway, and there are no resources currently allocated within the street cleansing service to remove litter or fly tipping from such areas.

The Highways Act 1980 defines unadopted highways as areas' not maintainable at public expense'. Responsibility for the cost of maintaining an unadopted or private road, alley or cutway generally rests with the ‘frontagers’ (i.e. the owners of properties that front directly onto the area). The fact that an area is publicly accessible and may have in the past been tarmacked and / or supplied with street lamps does not necessarily mean that it has been added to the highways register and adopted by the council for ongoing upkeep and maintenance.

There are however several ways in which the council may be able to help residents of properties fronting onto either shared private alleyways, or areas of unadopted highway that have become littered, fly tipped or overgrown with vegetation. The most common is to work with the Hampshire Probation Partnership and request the deployment of Community Payback resources to carry out an initial clean up. This approach has been successfully been followed in a number of similar areas, often with local residents working alongside the Community Payback Partnership team to help bring their local environment up to the desired standard. Assistance is however dependent of on the availability of Community Payback resources, and the urgency of other current requests for action.

The Community Payback offer is on hold at the moment due to COVID-19 - please check back later for updates to this situation.

Similarly, should ‘frontagers’ of a private or ‘unadopted’ cutway themselves wish to organise a Community Clean Up to clear the area outside their properties, the council will be pleased to partner this operation by loaning tools and equipment and making a driver and vehicle available to transport any litter or vegetation removed directly to the tip, at no cost to the residents participating in the clean-up. Alternatively, the council can make litter pickers and black sacks permanently available to residents who may wish to care for their neighbouring cutway or alleyway on a more frequent basis.