Four of the five roads within the Fisheries, namely Avenue Road, Church Road, Glebe Road and Fishery Road, are classified as “private streets”. The fifth road, The Rushes, was adopted after construction by the Council. The four private roads were laid down in the dim and distant past by the owners of the original estate (thought to be one Annie Smith in the 1880’s) and their original tenants/leaseholders.
The responsibility for maintaining the four private roads within the Fisheries rests with the householders, who are deemed to own the land out to the middle of the road. Although we own the land surrounding our properties, including the verges, we are not allowed by law to build any obstruction, fence or wall, beyond the boundary line, that marks the edge of the associated verge. The location of this line can be found in your deeds, and was recorded on the Ordnance Survey maps of the area in 1974. The roads have been maintained on an ad-hoc basis ever since, with mainly resurfacing on a patching basis in recent times, most recently in 2020.
As a general rule, the road patching work is undertaken every 2 years by specialist contractors, which has usually sufficient to keep the roads in a reasonable condition. Exceptions to this rule have been those areas affected by major house redevelopments, where the passage of many heavy lorries have left permanent damage to the road sub-structure, as well as to the road surface. As a matter of courtesy to other road users, we would urge residents, before undertaking such construction work, to obtain contractual undertakings from their builders to make good any such damage.
Another aspect of the roads in the Fisheries is that there is no in-built surface water drainage system other than the existing soakaway drains, so the verges are the only escape route for surface water to soak away, not to mention the problems of flood water relief. It is essential therefore that the verges provided for pedestrian safety, as well providing a more aesthetical appearance, are not covered by water-impermeable materials. The Council have recently passed an encroachment policy, which will permit enforcement orders to be issued against major encroachments.
Soakaway Drain Clearance
This is scheduled annually after the last leaf fall of the year to clear leaves and debris from the road soakaway drains in the Fishery Estate. The work is carried out by a contractor using a gully sucker vehicle. Householders are requested to remove any surface debris that may build up over the soakaway drain grates in front on their property to minimise the clogging up of the soakaways.
Road Costs and Allocation
The costs for maintaining the Fisheries private roads comes from the annual subscription due from all households within the Estate. Households from The Rushes pay a significantly reduced annual subscription as, although their road is council maintained, they have to drive over the private roads to get there and the FRA Committee liaise with the Council to ensure The Rushes is maintained.