what is a section 278 agreement

What is a section 278 agreement? September 7th 2018, by Ian Lishman

Any new housing development needs to connect into the existing public road network. That means making alterations to the network, such as providing turning lanes, a roundabout, or a signal-controlled junction to allow vehicles to enter and exit the site.

Such changes need to be agreed with, and carried out to the satisfaction of, the Local Highways Authority. A legally-binding agreement is made between the local authority and the developer under section 278 of the Highways Act 1980, hence it being called a section 278 (S278) agreement.

Typically, section 278 agreements represent the local authority giving the developer permission to carry out the proposed work. Sometimes, the highways authority carries out the work, or the developer may pay the highways authority to do the work if it is convenient for the developer’s schedule.

It is more common, however, for the developer to engage a contractor experienced in S278 works, like FACE, to undertake the highways alterations as if it was the authority themselves doing it. An offence is committed if work is carried out on a public highway without a section 278 agreement in place.

If the proposed works affect the ‘strategic road network’, which falls under the control of Highways England rather than the local authority, the S278 agreement will need to be made with the Secretary of State for Transport instead.

About FACE

For nearly two decades, FACE have delivered high quality civil engineering works on projects of all sizes. Our new turnkey service allows housing developers, whether small or large, to work with us and build a project-specific package of services that FACE then delivers.

The package can include highway works carried out under a section 278 agreement, drainage construction and groundworks. Acting as a single point of contact for multiple aspects of the infrastructure means we can offer improved coordination of works and minimise potential delays.

Find out more and enquire about our turnkey packages here.