Highways development management

Section 278 Agreements

A section 278 agreement allows the carrying out of works on the public highway by a third party to approved standards of design and construction to mitigate the impact of development.

Guidance for developers

The works must be designed and constructed in accordance with our Highway Construction Standards and Specifications Guidance.

Planning approval

An application for a section 278 agreement cannot be processed until Full or Reserved Matters planning permission has been issued. Pre-application advice is available, subject to payment of our fees.

Process and application

In order to commence the process, the developer must apply online and submit all the information on the agreement checklist set out in Appendix B of the Highway Construction Standards and Specifications Guidance.

Apply online for a section 278 agreement

Upon receipt of your application and all the information required in the checklist, your application will be allocated to one of our highway agreement officers. Your officer will email you to outline further instructions, indicating the payment required in order to cover the upfront design check fee and our administration fee.

The developer will be required to pay an upfront design check fee, the amount of which relates to the area of the works based on a price per metre square. The fixed fee provides for 3 design submissions and reviews. Traffic signals, structures, drainage and SUDS will attract an additional fee.

Please don't send any money or cheques: you can pay online when you receive your invoice.

The commencement of work on site will only be permitted once the design has been approved, the section 278 agreement and warranties have been completed, road space has been booked with our streetworks team and a pre-start meeting has been attended on site by all the appropriate parties.

Road safety audits

Road safety audit stages 1 and 2 must be undertaken by the applicant and submitted to us as part of the design checking process. Stage 3 will be undertaken by us prior to adoption of the works.

Visit our highways and transport guidance for more information.

Bonds and fees

The developer is responsible for all the costs incurred by us and our service provider in preparing and administering the agreement, inspecting the works and overseeing its implementation. These costs include (but are not limited to):

  • technical checking of the full design
  • preparation and negotiation of the legal agreement by Pathfinder Legal Services
  • inspection, supervision and approval of construction
  • administration fee (11% of the works tender price)

The bond sum is set at 110% of the tender price of the works (to include any service diversions and commuted sums).


The developer’s contractor and designer will be required to enter into our standard form of warranty in respect of the works upon completion of the section 278 agreement.

Commuted sums

All commuted sums will be payable prior to completion of the section 278 agreement.

Maintenance and adoption

Once the works are completed to our satisfaction, a Substantial Completion Certificate 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 having been remedied, a Final Certificate Completion will be issued and we will adopt the said works.