Q&As

Can a developer who has entered into an agreement under section 278 of the Highways Act 1980 with a highway authority, bring a claim against the authority, where the authority has failed to comply with its obligations in the agreement (eg to approve certain elements of the highway works within certain timescales)? Would such a claim be for breach of contract and would the damages which flow from the breach (such as the extra costs of having had a contractor on site for far longer than anticipated) be recoverable in the usual way?

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Produced in partnership with Tracy Lovejoy LLB of Lanyon Bowdler LLP
Published on LexisPSL on 24/06/2019

The following Planning Q&A produced in partnership with Tracy Lovejoy LLB of Lanyon Bowdler LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can a developer who has entered into an agreement under section 278 of the Highways Act 1980 with a highway authority, bring a claim against the authority, where the authority has failed to comply with its obligations in the agreement (eg to approve certain elements of the highway works within certain timescales)? Would such a claim be for breach of contract and would the damages which flow from the breach (such as the extra costs of having had a contractor on site for far longer than anticipated) be recoverable in the usual way?

Can a developer who has entered into an agreement under section 278 of the Highways Act 1980 with a highway authority, bring a claim against the authority, where the authority has failed to comply with its obligations in the agreement (eg to approve certain elements of the highway works within certain timescales)? Would such a claim be for breach of contract and would the damages which flow from the breach (such as the extra costs of having had a contractor on site for far longer than anticipated) be recoverable in the usual way?

There is no general prohibition which would prevent a landowner who is a party to a section 278 of the Highways Act 1980 (HiA 1980) agreement from bringing a claim against the highway authority with whom the agreement was entered into, for breach of the latter’s covenants in the agreement.

However, such a landowner should consider the following:

  1. as a local authority, a highway authority’s ability to contract is restricted by its statutory powers and functions. Local authorities may not enter into agreements which are incompatible

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