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What are Section 38 and Section 278 Agreements?

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New highways are created on residential, commercial and industrial developments within the city. A condition of consent to a planning application can be that the developer and Highway Authority enter into an agreement to provide new infrastructure and the Section 278 Agreement is the mechanism by which the new infrastructure is provided.

After planning consent for a residential development has been given the majority of housing developers prefer to have the roads and footways serving their new housing developments adopted by the highway authority. The process of adoption is normally covered by the legal agreement between the developer and the Council, commonly known as a Section 38 Agreement, which binds the developer to construct the road and footways to required standards.

Section 278 of the Highways Act provides for works funded by developers to be carried out on the existing public highway with our agreement. For example, this might include constructing a new roundabout to provide access to a development or improving an existing junction to accommodate extra traffic generated by the development.

The agreements process:

The agreement process allows the Council to review the detailed design of developer promoted schemes to ensure that the design and construction of highway improvement schemes and new roads being offered for adoption as public highway comply with the appropriate standards.

The Council's objectives are delivered by:

  • Checking the design and construction of developer promoted highway schemes and new roads constructed by developers to ensure that highway infrastructure meets national and local design standards and specifications.
  • Checking the safety of developer promoted designs by ensuring that they are safety audited at the detailed design stage and after construction
  • Ensuring that developer promoted highway structures or structures adjacent to the highway have been designed and constructed to the appropriate standards.