Work on Public Highways (Section 278 Agreement)

A Section 278 of the Highways Act 1980 agreement can be used to licence a developer to carry out improvement works on public highway which are generally necessary where planning permission has been granted for a development.

It is Council policy to apply this method of amending of existing highways. A Section 278 Agreement (Highways Act 1980) allows developers to enter into a legal agreement with the Council to make alterations or improvements to the public highway. Examples of work covered by this type of agreement include new access into a development site i.e. a roundabout, signalised junction, right turn lane or a simple priority junction. A Section 278 Agreement may also be required for works such as a new signalised pedestrian crossing or improvements to existing junctions close to the development site.

The Council normally use this section of the Highways Act to allow the developer, to employ a 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 the works instead. The developer is normally responsible for all aspects of the works on the public highway, from design through to construction. The Council will inspect the works to ensure that they are constructed in accordance with the agreed specification

At planning application stage the principles of the development layout are established such as the type of junction that will provide access onto the highway network, the scope of any off site works required to mitigate the impact of the development and the internal road layout of the development. Once a site has planning permission we cannot fundamentally amend the approved layout and we cannot refuse to enter into an agreement for the developer to undertake highway works required to facilitate their development provided that 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.

Where highway schemes require developers to offer up land within their control for adoption as public highway the agreement would be under Section 38 of the Highways Act 1980.

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.

Works cannot be undertaken on an adopted highway without a S278 Agreement has been completed and signed by all parties


Malc Lucas 01302 735110


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

Further Information:

S278 Agreement Guidance (Revised October 2023)
Download (205KB - PDF)
S278 Application Form (Revised April 2023) C of DC
Download (40KB - DOC)
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 07:01:57

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