Creation of New Public Highways (Section 38 Agreement)

An agreement under Section 38 of the Highways Act 1980 can be used where an applicant proposes to construct a new estate road for residential, industrial or general purpose traffic as the legal means by which the road becomes a public highway.

The Section 38 agreement comprises a framework of clauses, conditions, terms and prescribed timescales within which the developer is expected to operate. The role of the Council, as Highway Authority, is to ensure that it is built to the appropriate standard and adequately lit and drained.

The adoption process can be lengthy and while the road is unadopted the developer is responsible for maintaining the road until adoption happens. On larger developments the completed road may be used as site access for more phases of the development, therefore adoption under a Section 38 is normally takes place on completion of the whole of the development. Further complications may arise if the site is divided into phases by different developers and on finishing the construction some developers leave the site before the roads are adopted. 

If you require advice regarding the technical specification requirements, please contact the team using the email shown on this page.

Bond (surety)

The council must be protected against the risk of unforeseen expenditure if the works are unfinished for any reason. A Section 38 or Section 278 Agreement is supported by a bond or cash deposit (default cost) calculated by the Highway Authority and based on the cost of the works proposed. This bond or cash deposit can be called upon if the developer goes into liquidation or otherwise defaults on his responsibilities.


Malc Lucas 01302 735110


Highways and Street Lighting Design
Directorate of Economy and Environment
City of Doncaster Council
Civic Office (4th Floor)

Further Information:

S38 Application Form (Revised April 2023)
Download (42KB - DOC)
S38 Guidance Notes (Revised October 2023)
Download (159KB - PDF)
Appendix A - Commuted Sums for Highway Drainage Assets Policy V4
Download (134KB - PDF)
Download (6.27MB - PDF)
Download (6.74MB - PDF)
Permit Application Form (Revised April 2023)
Download (47KB - DOCX)
Last updated: 03 April 2024 07:00:15

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