Q&As

If planning permission has been granted by a local planning authority which involves works being carried out on the publicly maintainable highway, can the local highway authority still refuse to enter into a Section 278 Agreement if it believes that the works will not benefit the public?

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Produced in partnership with Rosalind Andrews of Harrison Clark Rickerbys
Published on LexisPSL on 23/09/2019

The following Local Government Q&A produced in partnership with Rosalind Andrews of Harrison Clark Rickerbys provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • If planning permission has been granted by a local planning authority which involves works being carried out on the publicly maintainable highway, can the local highway authority still refuse to enter into a Section 278 Agreement if it believes that the works will not benefit the public?

If planning permission has been granted by a local planning authority which involves works being carried out on the publicly maintainable highway, can the local highway authority still refuse to enter into a Section 278 Agreement if it believes that the works will not benefit the public?

Section 278 Agreements provide for the carrying out of work within the existing adopted highway, and usually provide the Local Highway Authority’s (LHA) approval for a developer’s contractor to carry out works at the developer’s cost to a specified programme and specification. Further information regarding Section 278 Agreements can be found in Practice Note: Highways—adoption agreements.

The LHA’s power to enter into a Section 278 Agreement is contained within section 278(1) of the Highways Act 1980 which states that the LHA ‘may, if they are satisfied it will be of benefit to the public’ enter into a Section 278 Agreement.

There is no guidance in the legislation as to how the LHA should decide whether the public benefit requirement has been met where planning permission has already been

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