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Highways Act 1980

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53 Power of magistrates’ court to extinguish liability to maintain privately maintainable highway.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)Where a person is liable by reason of tenure, enclosure or prescription to maintain a highway, a magistrates’ court may, on a complaint made either by that person or by the highway authority for the highway, make an order that the liability of that person to maintain the highway shall be extinguished, and on the extinguishment of that liability the highway, if it is not then a highway maintainable at the public expense, shall become for the purposes of this Act a highway maintainable at the public expense.

(2)Where a complaint is made to a mgistrates’ court under this section by a person liable as aforesaid to maintain a highway—

(a)the highway authority for the highway have a right to be heard by the court at the hearing of the complaint, and

(b)the court shall not make an order on the complaint unless it is satisfied that not less than 21 days before the date on which the complaint is heard by the court the complainant gave notice to the highway authority for the highway of the making of the complaint and of the time and place at which it was to be heard by the court.

(3)Where by virtue of an order under this section the liability of a person to maintain a highway is extinguished, that person is liable to pay to the highway authority for the highway such sum as may be agreed between him and that authority or, in default of agreement, as may be determined by arbitration to represent the value to him of the extinguishment of his liability.

(4)A sum payable by any person under subsection (3) above shall, at his option, be paid—

(a)as a lump sum, or

(b)by annual payments of such amount, and continuing for such number of years, as may be agreed between him and the highway authority or, in default of agreement, as may be determined by arbitration.

(5)Any matter which by virtue of subsection (3) or (4) above is to be determined by arbitration shall be determined by a single arbitrator appointed, in default of agreement between the parties concerned, by the Minister.

(6)Nothing in this section affects any exemption from rating under any enactment as continued by section 117 of the M1General Rate Act 1967.

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