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Private Drives

Private Drives - Waste Vehicle Collection Service - Guidance Note

(This guidance note may be subject to review at any time)

The Council's Statutory Duty

The Council is not under any statutory duty to collect waste from private drives.  The Council's statutory duty extends only to collecting waste, and the Council, as waste collection authority, can determine the collection point of that waste.  The collection point is usually at the curtilage of each residential property where it can be collected from the adopted public highway.

The Council's waste collection policy

The Council's insurers expect the Council to keep collection of waste from private drives to a minimum.  The Council's adopted waste collection policy is therefore not to collect waste from private drives.  

The Council may very exceptionally agree to take waste collection vehicles onto private drives in order to collect household waste, but only where the developer:

A - can show that they have applied the hierarchy detailed below; and

B - having applied the hierarchy can provide full documentary evidence that exceptional circumstances apply; and

C - provides the private drive to an appropriate standard; and

D - enters into an indemnity agreement; and

The Council will not collect waste from within a private drive (whether or not provided to adoptable standard) where this necessitates operatives leaving the waste collection vehicle and entering the private drive on foot.


A - Hierarchy - Guidance for Developers

The Council, as local planning authority, is obliged to take into account the Council's adopted waste collection policy when determining planning/condition compliance applications for waste collection details as it should avoid approving waste collection schemes which are not capable of being provided.  The following guidance is therefore provided for developers when seeking planning permission for new developments.  The guidance seeks to ensure that developers are fully aware of waste collection issues when submitting planning applications with a view to avoiding later problems, such as poor design under policy 3 of the South East Lincolnshire Local Plan (Adopted March 2019). The following does not constitute adopted planning policy.    

1.     It is firmly recommended that new developments should seek to minimise private drives when preparing and submitting planning applications.  Access roadways to all residential properties should normally be constructed to an adoptable standard under an agreement with Lincolnshire County Council so that they will become public highways to enable refuse/recycling collections to be carried out from outside individual properties without the need for communal waste collection points at the point where private driveways adjoin public highways.  This is the preferred solution of the Council as waste collection authority from an operational perspective.  Furthermore, it avoids the potential impacts of unmanaged depositing of waste, which can lead to unacceptable impacts upon the visual and residential amenity of communities.

2.     Where private drives are unavoidable, the Council would expect to see no more than 6 properties from any one private drive and a carrying distance of less than 30m. In order to judge the suitability of proposals to be served from private drives, the Council will apply a carrying distance of no greater than 30m measured from the nearest point of the plot adjacent to the private drive. This is reflective of Building Regulations Guidance on carrying distances for waste from households.  Developers are advised to contact the waste collection service to determine the proposed collection point.

3.     Should the proposal include a joint storage area for waste, this will serve no more than 6 properties and should be sited on land owned by a proprietor of the private drive.  Storage areas should still allow for collection of the waste by the Council from the public highway.  An area of 800mm x 800mm should be provided for each property using the collection point.  Design and siting will be expected to take account of impact upon both visual and residential amenity and demonstrate how these impacts have been minimised.  Definitive information on the on-going maintenance and responsibility for waste collection points will be required to protect against unmanaged depositing of refuse.  The Council may take appropriate enforcement action if the waste collection point is not reasonably maintained.

4.      Where private drives are included in a development proposal and the above criteria cannot be met then it may be possible to provide for a private waste collection from individual properties.  This would avoid the impacts arising from unmanaged depositing of waste. This may necessitate the developer entering into a section 106 agreement to ensure future delivery of the service.  

5.      If a private waste collection is not deliverable it is expected that private drives will be minimised through the design or re-design of the scheme to avoid the above concerns.   

The Council will apply the above hierarchical approach to waste collection solutions on new developments.  It will achieve this via negotiation at pre-application stage, during consideration of planning applications and the discharge of planning conditions.  Standard conditions will be applied in relation to roads being constructed to adoptable standard and, on outline planning applications, securing details of waste collection.  Full and reserved matters applications will be expected to include full details of the waste collection solution to be secured up-front.

Where all of the above measures have been reasonably exhausted, the Council may agree to collect waste from private drives in exceptional circumstances.


B - Exceptional circumstances  

It is not possible to provide a finite list of circumstances which may be considered to be exceptional, and all applications will be determined entirely on their own merit.  Due to the hierarchy, it is anticipated that exceptional circumstances will only arise during the build. 

In all cases it is for the developer to evidence that:

1.     exceptional circumstances exist; and

2.     these could not have been reasonably foreseen at the time of submitting and securing planning permission; and  

3.     there is no way to overcome the issues.

You should be aware that the County Council will not adopt any highways where tanking for surface water drainage is contained beneath the highway, and this should therefore be avoided. 

Not wishing to meet the cost of providing a road that is suitable for adoption would not usually be an exceptional circumstance.


C - Private drive(s) to be of appropriate standard

The Council will only approve waste vehicle collection applications for private drives where it is satisfied that the service can be carried out safely.  This will usually mean that the private drive will need to be provided to adoptable standard.


D - Indemnity agreement

The Council will only permit waste vehicle collection from private drives where the developer enters into the Council's standard indemnity Agreement.  The current standard indemnity Agreement is [attached].

The Agreement is necessary to reduce the Council's lability in the event of damage.  It is essential that all owners of the drive provide an indemnity.  The Agreement therefore: 

•       must be entered into by the current owner(s)

•       limits the number of owners of the drive - whether freehold or leasehold - to no more than 2.  If the drive is owned by more than 2 owners at any time the service terminates

•       requires a restriction be placed on the registered title of the drive to ensure that any new owner cannot register their purchase until they have received a certificate from the Council to confirm that a fresh legal agreement has been entered into (provided the new owner still wants the service)

•       ensures that the Council is only liable where the Council legally cannot contract out of liability 

•       reserves to the Council a right, entirely at its discretion, not to provide the service in exceptional circumstances (eg weather conditions); if the condition of the road is not acceptable at any time; or if the service cannot be provided safely for any other reason.  

Any indemnity agreement must relate not only to the private drive, but any associated footpaths and intervening landscaped areas.  This is to ensure that any land that may potentially be damaged by the waste vehicles is included within the indemnity.  You will be required to provide a plan that shows, edged in red, the land that will be subject to the indemnity agreement. 

If your waste vehicle collection application is formally approved the Council's legal advisors will be instructed to send to you a draft of the indemnity Agreement that relates to your development.  Amendments to the Council's standard draft indemnity agreement will not usually be permitted other than minor amendments that are site specific.  In no circumstances will the Council allow more than 2 proprietors to own the private drive whilst it is subject to the indemnity. 

It will be necessary for the Council's waste collection officers to inspect the drive(s).  If the drive(s) will not be ready for inspection for some time the Council may decide to enter into any approved indemnity Agreement, but the Agreement will not take effect until the Council is satisfied that that the drive(s) is satisfactory.


Waste Vehicle Collection Application   

If, having considered this guidance, you still wish to make a waste vehicle collection application please complete the [attached] application form. 

Except where stated on the application form, if any responses are omitted, your application will not be processed.  The Council also reserves the right to seek additional information prior to determination of your application.


Where successful, a £500 legal fee will apply for each indemnity agreement.

Determination of Waste Vehicle Collection Applications

The Council's Environmental Services Manager has authority, following consultation with the relevant portfolio holder, to determine waste vehicle collection applications. 


If you have any queries about securing permission from the Council as waste collection authority please contact

If you have any queries about securing permission from the Council as local planning authority please contact