Off Site Highway Improvements,
Section 278 Agreement

Post Grant of Planning Consent - Part One

Following the grant of planning permission there will normally be a series of planning conditions attached to the development which must be discharged prior to either commencement of construction on site or the occupation of the completed dwellings, buildings or development.

Highway works are often addressed in principle only in the Transport Assessment or the Architect’s design for the development and typical conditions require, for example, the submission of detailed construction plans and specifications for the access point, parking or service areas or the physical measures (such as new bus stops and shelters) to encourage access by sustainable modes of transport.

Delivery of Off Site Highway Improvements

Where the traffic impact of the development is such that off site highway improvements are needed the means by which this is achieved is via an agreement with the Local Highway Authority under Section 278 of the Highways Act 1980. This legal agreement allows alteration to the public highway where there is benefit to the public by the improvement works and the works are required to enable the development to proceed.

After initial discussions with the Local Highway Authority the Highway Engineer proceeds to provide full construction drawings and specifications for the works which will allow both costing and construction to take place. These plans are provided to the Local Planning Authority for approval as part of the discharge of planning conditions and the works are normally implemented and completed before the development is brought into use. It is however quite normal for such designs to have been investigated by the Highway Engineer during the Post Planning Submission process to enable his client to be fully aware of the likely costs involved.

Section 278 Agreement

Where the traffic impact of the development is such that off site highway improvements are needed the means by which this is achieved is via an agreement with the Local Highway Authority.  Whilst there are different Sections of the Highways Act under which these works can be completed, the one most preferred by Highway Authorities is Section 278. This legal agreement (Section 278 Agreement) allows alteration to the public highway where there is benefit to the public by the improvement works.

A bond is usually required by the Highway Authority to cover for the eventuality of default or the works not being competed.

The responsibility for the majority of roads lies with Local Highway Authorities however where the strategic road network is affected this falls to the ‘Secretary of State for Transport’ via the Highways England. Examples of routes on the strategic road network are Motorways, Trunk Roads and usually the high grade junctions leading to and from them.

After initial discussions with the Highways England or Local Highway Authority the Highway Engineer proceeds to provide full construction drawings and specifications for the works which will allow both costing and construction to take place. These plans are provided to the Local Planning Authority for approval as part of the discharge of planning conditions and the works are normally implemented and completed before the development is brought into use.

The Highway Engineer also usually contacts all the statutory undertakers (Telecom, Cable, Electric etc.) in the area of the off site works to identify any that may require diversion, protection or strengthening and obtains a costing and lead in times for the works to be carried out. Should major statutory undertakers works be required then a redesign may well be considered to avoid impacting on the statutory undertakers thereby reducing the costs of the works.

Require Assistance from a Highway Engineer?

Sanderson Associates have extensive experience in assisting our Clients with Highway Engineering Matters for a wide variety of major and minor developments throughout the whole of the UK, Isle of Man and Ireland.

We would be pleased to provide you with our competitive fee proposal to provide you with our services, please call us on 01924 844080 or click here to complete our secure online form.

Planning Permission, Off Site Highway Improvements, Transport Assessment, Details Construction Plans, Access Point, Parking, Service AreaSustainable Modes of Transport, Section 278 Agreement, Highways Act 1980, Local Highway Authority, Highways Agency Local Planning Authority, Discharge of Planning Conditions