Q. Why a road levy?
A. The road has always been privately owned since the break up of Welcomes Farm in the 19th century and not maintained by the local council. As long as is known the residents have contributed to the upkeep.
Current levy rates are available on the Current Levies page.
The obligation to pay a road levy in most cases is covenanted in the deeds to the relative frontaging property. Where the obligation is not in the deeds ‘the doctrine of benefit and burden’ originally established in the case of Halsall v Brizell, in 1957 was reaffirmed in Court of Appeal in Goodman v Elwood 2013 supports unequivocably an obligation to pay for the use of the roads concerned.
There are certain ‘members’ who think that they have a right to use Welcomes and Uplands Roads without sharing the maintenance costs. The people concerned need to remember that without access over WURA roads their properties would unreachable by the emergency services and other utilities. They need to seriously review their stance on this issue.
On sale of a property it is necessary to use form TA6 to declare a dispute (under Section 2.1) with the Road Association to the buyers for the arrears of road levy which will require to be paid.
Q. What will happen if no road levy is charged or the roads are not maintained?
A. Unmaintained roads even if they have been properly constructed will deteriorate quite quickly once frost and water get under the surface. A few long-standing residents will attest to the condition of the potholed Welcomes Road a few years back.
Q. Would Croydon Council Take the maintenance on?
A. Maybe but you can be certain that it would be on the condition that ALL residents pay for bringing the road up to “Adopted Road” standards. A figure of £15,000 per frontager is an indication of the cost of adopting both roads. For the residents to maintain the road themselves is the cheaper option. In addition, 100% of frontagers would need to agree, although the Council can apply to the Courts to enforce the adoption of roads.
Q. What about security in the WURA estate?
A. Please note the registration numbers of any suspicious cars or make a description of people who are behaving in a suspicious manner. Help us to help the Police.
Go to www.kenleyra.org.uk for up to date reports on crime in the area. Kenley actually has one of the lowest crime rates in the Borough.
The Committee have investigated installing cameras at the entrances to our roads but in spite of several requests from members and getting quotes to install CCTV systems, have decided once and for all that using high resolution cameras putting everyone including walkers under 24 hour surveillance is unduly onerous in terms of the risk of breaches of General Data Protection Regulations and Privacy legislation. It can also lead to loss of insurance cover as fines are perceived to be potentially extremely high. In addition members of the Public have a right to view any footage taken of them and even if the system and risk was transferred to a security company the surveillance would be deemed to be taking place for use by a Road Association which is not a lawful purpose for what is essentially a road maintenance body. Instead the installation of Police operated cameras will be investigated and members are urged to get their own domestic CCTV installed and managed by a properly accredited firm. Disappointingly more often than not CCTV footage does not lead to criminal convictions and criminals increasingly and brazenly ignore CCTV so installing it may not make us any safer.
Residents wishing to install their own CCTV should be aware of the legal requirements: https://surreyfire.co.uk/cctv-legislation/
Q. What should I do if people or vehicles appear to be behaving suspiciously?
Please contact the WURA Secretary so that the information can be circulated to members.
You can check whether a car is taxed and MOT’d at the government site, but the DVLA no longer make ownership information available.
Q. When is Rubbish collection day?
A. Rubbish – Normally Monday but with amended days at Easter & Christmas. Please note that collections for Uplands Road are on a Tuesday.
Recycling – Normally fortnightly on Monday but with amended days at Easter & Christmas.
Q. What should I do if I see some rubbish which has been dumped?
A. Fly-tipping should be reported on the Don’t mess with Croydon website. You can telephone the dedicated fly-tipping hotline on 0208 604 7000 or email email@example.com. There is also a Don’t mess with Croydon app to report issues straight to the relevant team. The Council sometimes can identify and fine culprits by examining the rubbish which has been dumped.
Q. Is there a policy on bonfires?
As most properties within the WURA area have suitable gardens, it is perfectly legal to have a bonfire on your land and contrary to popular belief there are no restrictions as what time of the day or day or the week you can have it on. There is, however, firm legislation in place to ensure your bonfire does not contravene the Environmental Protection Act.
You should also take into consideration the effect on your neighbours. Think about the time and placing of your bonfire and don’t burn anything damp or plastic/rubber which can produce pungent smoke. See here (PDF file) for more advice.
Q. That street lamp outside is not working?
A. Please either inform the secretary or consult the Croydon Council website (Highways)
Q. What can I do if I have noisy neighbours?
A. Croydon Council are the people with the powers to deal with noise which is considered to be a statutory nuisance. Please see the Croydon Council website for details on what can be done.
Q. When were the roads last resurfaced?
A. The junction with Welcomes and Uplands Road up to Morven House Care Home was relaid with Stone Mastic Asphalt in 2016 by J C Allfrey and Co Ltd and this has held up very well in spite of high loadings from turning traffic. Cost £16,000 inc VAT.
Nos 41 to 58 Welcomes Road was surfaced dressed in August 2019 at a cost of £13,000 or £11 per sq m inc VAT. The new dressing is holding up well in spite of torrential rain soon after laying it.
The Committee feel that the VAT rate of 20% for maintaining a public highway at private expense is iniquitous and our MP will be approached to see if this rate cannot be adjusted to something fairer.
Q. When will the roads next be resurfaced?
A. In late September 2019 the road will be rebuilt where the road surface is failing badly on the bend near 159 Welcomes Road due to water from an underground spring.
The short to medium term plan is to resurface Welcomes Road in a mix of surface dressing and stone mastic asphalt or dense bitumen mastic depending on the advice we get, cost and cash flow. After that Uplands Road will be surfaced dressed using a suitable process.
Q. What major expenditures have occurred?
A. Last major expenditure £58,000 on seal and chip surface dressing (which sadly failed) in September 2012. Legal action for redress successfully settled in January 2016. The failure of the surface dressing has meant that members are reluctant to have it used again, hence the testing in August 2019 to see how the dressing done by Allfreys performs over the 2019/20 winter months. It seems the type of stone used in 2012 may have contributed to the failure.
Q. What major expenditures will occur in the next few years?
A. The cost of surface dressing the rest of Welcomes Road (excluding about 1200 sq m of the area surface dressed in 2019) is about £94,000 inc VAT, but due to the amount of preparation work needed including lifting iron work and using DBM tarmac, for example, resurfacing will be much more costly than surface dressing. According to the Contractors we use, Allfreys Co Ltd., Welcomes Road is about 9800 sq m in total area.
Q. Is parking permitted?
A. Non residents are not authorised to park on any of the roads. Visitors to properties are requested firstly to park on the property of the address visited, or secondly after requesting permission on a neighbour’s drive. This includes contractors and removal trucks. See note regarding heavy trucks.
Welcomes Road is also a designated footpath, No 157, and as such it is not lawful to park on it except briefly to deliver something for example. Rule 145 of the Highways Act states that it is not permissable to drive on or over a pavement, footpath or bridleway except to gain lawful access to property, or in the case of an emergency. See HA 1835 sect 72 and RTA 1988 sect 34 of the relevant legislation. Because Welcomes Road is a footpath bicycle riders and horse riders are also only allowed to use it if they are gaining lawful access to a property. Drivers must show proper respect for pedestrians using the footpath/road and drive slowly past them.
Obstructing the road can impede the passage of emergency vehicles as well as the Refuse Truck. The consequences of slowing down or stopping an ambulance or fire appliance from reaching their destination in good time do not need to be spelt out.
Q. What is the speed limit?
A. As with the surrounding roads, the speed limit is 20 Mph but please remember Welcomes Road is a public footpath shared with pedestrians, cyclists, animals both wild and domestic and 15mph is a more sensible speed. Slow down particularly in the rain when passing pedestrians.
Q. What can I do about speeding vehicles?
A. Please note their registration number, date, time, direction along the road and advise the secretary. The committee will follow up as far as reasonable in making a complaint to the owner or driver.
Q. Does WURA pay for sandbags or kerbing along frontages?
A. Not usually, but please consult the Committee before installing kerbing as this can affect the drainage of rainwater down the road. The Road Committee has authorised (August 2019) some kerbing work largely at the Association’s expense where banks and verges are being eroded by traffic and flood water at the Kenley Lane end of Welcomes Road.
Q. Can members buy the roads and thereby gain more control over access and parking?
A. This question is asked from time to time usually when parking issues arise or when access is required by HGVs during building works carried out by members or developers. A legal opinion was sought some years ago and in the light of the indicated legal costs and the difficulty of getting consent from each and every member. Members are currently presumed to own their verge and the road along their frontage up to the mid point of the road, although in practice ownership varies in some limited number of cases. The exercise would also entail having a detailed survey carried out and completely remapping the area. A suitable legal entity would then be needed to consolidate ownership, for example a limited company issuing shares to members, or a trust. Given the time, complexity and expense involved and the fact that the existing informal structure is recognised as the legitimate body to deal with road matters, including collecting road levies from members and HGV traffic, the Committee does not intend to pursue such a course of action in the foreseeable future. There are existing laws concerning parking control which can be enforced by the Council if needed.