The area of the Brookmans Park Estate comprising principally Mymms Drive, Georges Wood Road, Brookmans Avenue and their surrounding roads was developed in the late 1920s as a residential neighbourhood with a mix of large houses and chalet bungalows. An important feature was the relatively large amount of land allocated to each property. Great emphasis was placed by the developers on the use of shrubs, trees and grass verges to produce a rural character area. The aim was to preserve the general character of the roads by the introduction of various restrictive covenants, to the title deeds of the building plots, at the time that they were sold for private residences. Consequently, the area has become much sought-after and the property values have risen accordingly.
The title to the land comprising the roads throughout the Brookmans Park Estate was originally retained by the developers and their successors in title. Most of the roads are still privately owned. However, no standardised provision was made for their maintenance and all but five or six roads have since been adopted by Welwyn Hatfield Council. In these adopted roads, the rural character has been degraded by the installation of pavements and utility style lighting, etc. Mymms Drive is one of the remaining few unadopted roads. In conjunction with George’s Wood Road, Calder Avenue and Brookmans Avenue, it acts as a thoroughfare between the A1000 and the village.
The Council position regarding unadopted roads such as Mymms Drive is that the surface must be kept free from defects which might constitute a danger or source of damage to vehicles. The cost of maintenance of an unadopted road lies with the frontagers (i.e. those who own the properties fronting Mymms Drive), even if the frontagers do not own the road. The Highways Authority (Hertfordshire County Council Highways Department) may therefore only deal with them and is not concerned with the owners of the road. Section 230 of the 1980 Act empowers the Highways Authority to order the frontagers to carry out any repairs it deems necessary and to allow the authority to carry out the work. If the order is ignored, the Highways Authority would recover the expenses incurred from the frontager who is responsible for the maintenance of the portion of the road corresponding to the length of the frontage up to the middle of the road. Therefore, the Mymms Drive Road Fund was set up to manage this on behalf of all of Mymms Drive residents and negates the need for individual maintenance activity. The fund therefore exists to protect the rural character of the road and protect property values.
Over a period of many years, maintenance of the road was organised by residents on an ad-hoc basis, requisite funds being levied from frontagers on demand. In 1992, the constitution of the Mymms Drive Road Fund was finalised and a formal committee appointed with a Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary served by further Committee Members. The Committee levies regular annual contributions and accumulates a fund to undertake road resurfacing periodically, keep the road drainage gullies clear, undertake gritting in the winter and put in place liability insurance on behalf of the frontagers who contribute to the fund.
The council makes no reduction to council tax for unadopted roads. The road currently comprises of 83 properties. Any member (i.e. property owner) can attend the committee meetings which occur approximately quarterly by contacting the committee.
Existing owners, prospective owners and their respective solicitors can contact the Committee by e-mailing [email protected].