A Section 278 Agreement is a form of legislation that allows construction professionals to carry out works to the public highway. It relates to situations where planning permission has been granted to make improvements or changes.
It is otherwise known as Section 278 of The Highways Act 1980 and the agreement is between the highway authority and developer.
The Section 278 Agreement
Once an agreement is put into place, a developer can begin work on a variety of projects such as junctions with traffic lights, roundabouts and improved facilities for pedestrians.
The highway authority depends on your location. In England, this will either be Highways England or local authority. Furthermore, the agreement usually includes various details like costs, design, planning permission and provision for inspection.
There are occasions where the developer designs and pays for the work and matches the requirements set by the highway authority. Likewise, the highway authority can carry out the works too. Regardless, the developer pays for costs that cover all or part of the work.
Onwards, the developer may pay towards other aspects of each project, such as land acquisition, administrative expenses and permissions.
A bond is also included when a developer is carrying out works. This is to ensure that the highway authority is covered if for any reason the developer fails to complete the project or becomes insolvent. The bond lasts over 12 months until the works are complete.
Principles of the works will derive from planning permission linked with the development. If the works meet the required standards, the highway authority must agree with the developer.
At the same time, if the work’s don’t meet the agreement or if the developer doesn’t make agreed on payments, the highway authority can remove access to the site.
Section 38 agreements are usually made alongside Section 278 agreements so developers can ask the highway authority permission to build infrastructures like drains and lighting.
In a nutshell, attaining a section 278 agreement is an integral part of developing works to a public highway. Without this legislation a highway authority cannot permit a developer and improvements to a site will not be made.