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Private Roads

Volume 746: debated on Monday 4 March 2024

10. Whether he has had recent discussions with local authorities on adopting private roads on new estates. (901769)

The adoption of roads is largely an issue for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport, who leads on that policy, but I know—because we have spoken about this in the Committee considering the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill—that the hon. Gentleman has a significant interest in this matter. We understand the strength of feeling about it, and we are considering it further.

Across the country, homeowners in a state of adoption limbo are being left exposed to exploitative and often unaccountable management companies. Despite their warm words, sadly the Government did not take any of the actions that the Competition and Markets Authority urged them to take in order to end the issue of fleecehold once and for all. Given that the Secretary of State is rumoured to be on the lookout for legacy accomplishments, will the Minister urge his colleagues to finally act on this issue during the current Parliament, or will fleecehold be yet another issue left for the next Government to tackle?

With the best will in the world, the CMA report was published a few days ago, and the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill had been progressing through the House for a number of months before that. As for the hon. Gentleman’s specific point, I hope he will accept, as other Members, including his colleagues, have done, that the Bill is a significant improvement for estate management, providing the right of redress to a tribunal, further information and the right to absolute clarity on service charges. All those changes have been rightly demanded by residents, and we are considering carefully whether there is anything further than we can do.