Highways Development Management

Section 278 Agreements

We will not process an application for a Section 278 agreement before Full or Reserved Matters planning approval has been issued to avoid any abortive work being undertaken.

Highways Act Section 278 agreements allow the carrying out of works on the public highway by third parties through an approved contractor, to approved standards of design and construction, to mitigate the impact of development.

Where the proposed works also affect a trunk road or motorway, it will be necessary for a developer to seek authority for such works from Highways England (formerly known as The Highways Agency).

Applications for a S278 agreement should be made using the application form.

View the Highways Construction Standards and Specifications Guide.

Full design details, as set out in the application form , must be submitted for checking and approval. A stage 2 safety audit must be undertaken by the applicant and submitted to us, as part of the design checking process. Details of the safety audit process (PDF 110.5KB) are available.

Various fees are levied to cover the our costs in preparing and administering an agreement and overseeing its implementation.

Upon submission, a developer will be expected to pay an upfront design check fee, the amount of which relates to the cost of the works, based on the works tender:

The developer will be required to pay for all the actual costs incurred by us in:

  • the technical checking of the design (balance of the costs payable prior to the commencement of the works) 
  • the preparation and negotiation of the legal agreement (payment expected prior to the signing of the agreement)
  • the inspection and approval of construction (payment expected prior to the issuing of a Provisional Certificate of Completion)

An administration fee, set at 7% of the tender price, will also be charged (payment expected prior to the signing of the agreement).

The commencement of work on site will only be permitted once a bond is provided by a surety. The bond sum is set at 110% of the tender price of the works (to include any service diversions and commuted sums). Details of commuted sums for highway works are available.

Once the works are completed to our satisfaction, a Provisional Certificate of Completion will be issued. Following a further 12 month period, during which the developer will be responsible for any necessary maintenance of the works, a final inspection will be undertaken. Subject to any works defects then being remedied, a Final of Certificate of Completion will be issued.