Drain Cleaning – Garages off Raynsford Road

Residents recently approached the Parish Council to enquire why the drains serving the garage areas off Raynsford Road were no longer being cleaned by the Borough or County Council.

Following enquiries made, the Chair of the Parish Council has been able to determine that the arrangements for the cleaning  the drains in question is  matter for the owners of the Garages, as the Garages and the road that serves them from a predefined distance from Raynsford Road is not subject to public ownership and therefore beyond the responsibility of both the Borough and County Councils.

The Borough council however may be prepared to provide a service to residents, but it will be up to the owners of the Garages themselves to arrange how this work will be financed, and enter into any contracts required.

The contact at St Edmundsbury Borough Council is Mark Walsh. Head of Operations: mark.walsh@westsuffolk.gov.uk

Following a review of services by Suffolk County Council, Highways maintenance (which includes drain cleaning work) was reallocated to new Highway Services contractors, KIER. who identified that these particular drains were located on private access roads that serve privately owned garages. There is no contract in place to provide the service in these areas, therefore the service is not provided beyond the points indicated on the map below.

It is not clear if during the work being performed by the previous contractor, the drains within the private road ways were cleaned or not, but if they had, it is claimed that the work had been performed in error.

It was stated that the owners of the garages are responsible for the upkeep of their garages the hardstanding in front of their garage, the roadway that leads from Raynsford Road, and the associated drains and drainage system that serves that area, as defined on the map below.

[It is difficult to visually distinguish where the Highway ends and the private road begins as there is no discernible boundary between the two present on the sites.]

It is also not unusual for the property deeds to contain a clause that apportions maintenance costs and identifies participants to such an agreement, it is suggested that owners of these garages and their associated properties where applicable, consult their title deeds in order to establish if such a clause exists and if any organisation is party to it.  In so doing it should also be possible to establish liability in this respect which will enable a resolution to be determined.

Unfortunately, the Parish Council are unable to provide any form of assistance in this private matter.


Peter Royce,


Whelnetham Parish Council