Stopping Up Orders

Local Highway Authorities may, by legal order, stop up areas designated as highway land.

The term “stopping up” means that highway land ceases to be a highway and the public rights of way are extinguished in law, once the order is made. If an order is successfully made on the public highway, then the land is free of any Highway Authority control.

There are several legislative tools available to Highways Authorities to stop up highways.

Section 247 Town & Country Planning Act 1990

Powers available under S247 Town & Country Planning Act 1990 allow Highway Authorities to stop up public highways to facilitate development subject to necessary planning consent.

This process requires consultation for which notice of the intention to make the order must be advertised in a local newspaper, the London Gazette and where possible the council’s website. There is a period of no less than 28 days from the date of publication in which to make an objection to the proposed order. Objections must be made in writing.

If no objections are received, the order is then made as an unopposed order. Notice of the made order is advertised. Any judicial challenge to the validity of the order should be made in writing within six weeks of the publication date of the notice of made order.

Highways Act 1980 - Section 116 and Section 118

The Highways Authority may seek authorisation from the court to stop up areas of designated highway land where it is no longer required for public use.

The land concerned needs to be owned by the applicants requesting the stopping up application to be processed.  Please note that only the Highways Authority can make an application to the Magistrates Court for an order. Applicants must apply to the Council and pay for all associated costs.

This process also requires publication of the details of the Hearing in a local newspaper and the London Gazette at least 28 days before the date on which the application is to be heard.

We do not usually encourage such applications to stop up the highway as we cannot guarantee the outcome.

If you would like to submit an application for consideration, please send an email in the first instance to:

Making an application


We will carry out an assessment and notify you of our decision within 10 working days of receiving your application. The timescale for processing this application varies so applicants are advised to allow at least four months for completion, subject to no objections being received.

Fees and payment

Please note you will be required to pay for all costs incurred in processing the Order. The charges are applied in two stages, the first of which is due at the time of submitting your application. This fee is set at £1,320.

Please note that this fee is not refundable regardless of the outcome of the application.

If we decide to support the application, we will provide instructions on how to make payment. The process will not commence until Stage 1 fee is paid.

The costs for the second stage varies and will include legal fees. This will be invoiced prior to sealing of the order. Stage 2 fees will need to be paid to avoid delays in making the order.

To apply for a stopping up order please read the guidance notes and fill in an online application form.

You will need to create and use a Tower Hamlets Self-service account to submit an application.

If you have any queries, please email