Private streets determination

Where a planning application appears to require the laying-out or construction of streets, Article 3 of The Private Streets (NI) Order 1980 requires the Department to determine the width, position and arrangement of the streets.

Governing legislation

The Private Streets (NI) Order 1980 (the Order) and the Private Streets (Amendment) Order 1992 provide the statutory basis for the adoption of roads constructed by Developers. 

The Order further provides for the Department (DfI Roads) to adopt the determined layout on satisfactory completion by the developer. Developers are required to enter into an Agreement with the Department so that, on satisfactory completion of the road construction, the roads become public roads. The Agreement is normally provided under Article 32 of the Order.

Only those carriageways and footways, cycle tracks, footpaths, visibility splays and verges that the Department considers necessary for public access and passage, will be adopted, provided that they are laid out in accordance with the Creating Places' design guide and constructed to the standards set out in the Private Streets (Construction) Regulations (NI) 1994.

Access roads serving new residential developments in excess of 5 dwellings will normally be determined and subsequently adopted provided that they are designed and constructed to the appropriate standards.

Access roads serving between 3 and 5 dwellings may be determined and subsequently adopted provided that they are designed and constructed to the appropriate standards.

Access roads serving 1 or 2 dwellings will not normally be determined for adoption, as such accesses will not require the laying out of streets.

Access layouts should be discussed with the DfI Roads Development Control officer early in the design process.

Requests for a private street to remain private

Where the Department has exercised street planning functions and has determined the private street under Article 3, the developer may request that the street is not adopted on completion, for example, in order to erect gates to control access.

It will not always be possible for the Department to agree to such requests and developers should discuss the requirement with the Development Control officer as early as possible, preferably prior to putting in place the Agreement and Bond. An Agreement under Article 24 of The Order provides for a developer to request that determined streets remain private.

Developers should note that streets which have been determined but are to remain private under an Article 24 Agreement, must still be designed and properly constructed to the Department’s standards.

Private streets determination drawings

When a private streets determination layout has been agreed with the Planning Authority and DfI Roads, developers should submit the following finalised drawings to the Planning Authority:

- 4 copies of drainage drawings showing gully positions and adoptable storm drain locations

- 4 copies of longitudinal sections for the road layouts

- 9 copies of a coloured site layout drawing at 1:200 (preferred) or 1:500 scale, showing:

  • basic engineering details including road/footway widths, corner radii,
  • relevant spot heights
  • sightlines
  • traffic calming features
  • provision for carrying off surface water, invert levels, position of manholes and connections to existing drains
  • position, levels and gradients of drains intended for foul water and position of manholes and connections to existing drains
  • position of all structures, pipelines and retaining walls that may require Technical Approval

The following colours should be used for adoptable areas on Determination drawings:

  • Carriageway, footway and access crossing RED
  • Verge GREEN


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