Apply for an S278 agreement

A section 278 agreement (or S278) is a section of the Highways Act 1980 that allows developers to enter into a legal agreement with the council to make alterations or improvements to a public highway, as part of a planning application.

It is an offence to carry out any works within the public highway without permission of the Highway Authority. No construction work affecting the highway should commence until an S278 has been completed. We reserve the right to take any appropriate legal action against offenders.

Examples of work covered by an S278 include:

  • new access into a development site (i.e. a roundabout, signalised junction, right turn lane or a simple priority junction)
  • new signalised pedestrian crossings or improvements to existing junctions close to the development site.

In Birmingham, we normally use these agreements to allow the developer to employ a road works contractor, and for that contractor to work on the existing public highway in the same way as if we, the highway authority, were carrying out works instead. The developer is normally responsible for all aspects of the works on the public highway, from the design through to supervising construction and ensuring that the works are completed to our satisfaction.

The principles of the development layout are established at planning application stage. These will include the type of junction that will provide access onto the highway network, the scope of any off site works required to lessen the impact of the development, and the internal road layout of the development.

Once a development site has planning permission we cannot fundamentally amend the approved layout. We also cannot refuse to enter into an agreement for the developer to undertake highway works required for their development, as long as all appropriate design and safety standards are met. Where a developer is required to undertake highway works in association with their development, the planning permission will require them to enter into a highway agreement to carry out the works.

For cases where a highway scheme requires developers to offer up land within their control for adoption as a public highway, please see Section 38 Agreements.

Apply for a Section 278 agreement

Information on existing assets and inventory can be requested through our general enquiry form.

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