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Highways Act 1980

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73 Power to prescribe improvement line for widening street.E+W

(1)Where in the opinion of a highway authority—

(a)a street which is a highway maintainable at the public expense by them is narrow or inconvenient, or without any sufficiently regular boundary line, or

(b)it is necessary or desirable that such a street should be widened,

the authority may prescribe in relation to either one side or both sides of the street, or at or within a distance of 15 yards from any corner of the street, a line to which the street is to be widened (in this section referred to as an “improvement line”).

(2)Where an improvement line prescribed under this section in relation to any street is in force, then, subject to subsections (3) and (4) below, no new building shall be erected, and no permanent excavation below the level of the street shall be made, nearer to the centre line of the street than the improvement line, except with the consent of the authority who prescribed the line, and the authority may give a consent for such period and subject to such conditions as they may deem expedient.

(3)The prohibition imposed by subsection (2) above does not affect any right of statutory undertakers to make an excavation for the purpose of laying, altering, maintaining or renewing any main, [F1sewer,] pipe, electric line, cable, duct or other work or apparatus.

(4)Where an authority prescribe an improvement line under this section, a person aggrieved by the decision to prescribe the line or by the refusal of consent under subsection (2) above or by the period for which the consent is given or any conditions attached to it may appeal to the Crown Court.

(5)A condition imposed in connection with the giving of a consent under subsection (2) above is binding on the successor in title to every owner, and on every lessee and every occupier, of any land to which it relates.

(6)If a person contravenes the provisions of this section, or any condition imposed in connection with the giving of a consent under it, he is, without prejudice to any other proceedings which may be available against him, guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding [F2level 1 on the standard scale]; and if the offence is continued after conviction he is guilty of a further offence and liable to a fine not exceeding £2 for each day on which the offence is so continued.

(7)Where in the opinion of a highway authority an improvement line prescribed by them under this section, or any part of such a line, is no longer necessary or desirable and should be revoked, they may revoke the line or that part of it.

(8)Schedule 9 to this Act has effect in relation to the prescription of an improvement line under this section and to the revocation of such a line or any part of it.

(9)Any person whose property is injuriously affected by the prescribing of an improvement line under this section is, subject to the following provisions thereof, entitled to recover from the authority who prescribed the line compensation for the injury sustained.

(10)A person is not entitled to compensation on account of any building erected, contract made, or other thing done, after the date on which a plan showing the improvement line was deposited in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 5 of Schedule 9 to this Act, except as regards work done for the purpose of finishing a building the erection of which had begun before that date, or of carrying out a contract made before that date.

(11)Nothing in this section applies to or affects, without the consent of the undertakers concerned—

(a)any property occupied or used by railway undertakers for the purposes of a railway comprised in the railway undertaking; or

(b)any property belonging to any of the following undertakers and used by them for the following purposes respectively, that is to say, by canal undertakers for those of a canal comprised in the canal undertaking, by inland navigation undertakers for those of a navigation comprised in the inland navigation undertaking, by dock undertakers for those of a dock comprised in the dock undertaking, or by harbour undertakers for those of a harbour comprised in the harbour undertaking; or

(c)any land used by gas undertakers for the manufacture or storage of gas, by electricity undertakers for the generation of electricity. . . F3 by water undertakers as a pumping station or reservoir for water [F4or by sewerage undertakers as a pumping station or sewage disposal works].

A consent required by this subsection shall not be unreasonably withheld, and any question whether the withholding of such a consent is unreasonable shall, except where the street in question is one for which the Minister is the highway authority, be determined by the Secretary of State.

(12)In relation to any prohibition or restriction on the use of land or buildings imposed by the Minister by the prescription of an improvement line under this section or by virtue of any condition imposed by him in connection with the giving of a consent under subsection (2) above, section 1(1)(c) of the M1Local Land Charges Act 1975 shall have effect as if the references to the date of the commencement of that Act were omitted.

(13)In this section “building” includes any erection however, and with whatever material, it is constructed and any part of a building, and “new building” includes any addition to an existing building.

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Amendments (Textual)

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

C2S. 73(11)(c) amended by Gas Act 1986 (c. 44, SIF 44:2), s. 67(1)(3), Sch. 7 para. 2(2)(e), Sch. 8 para. 33

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