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As a developer, you may be familiar with Section 278 agreements. These agreements are a common requirement for developers looking to make changes to the public highway as part of their development plans. While Section 278 agreements are vital, the costs associated with them can vary. In this article, we will take a look at what Section 278 agreements are, what costs you should expect, and how you can minimize expenses.

What is a Section 278 Agreement?

A Section 278 agreement is a legal agreement between a developer and the highway authority regarding modifications to the public highway. It is often a requirement for developers who are planning to carry out works that may affect the highway such as new access roads, footpaths, and street lighting. This agreement ensures that the developer undertakes the necessary works to the public highway and covers the cost of any work that the highways authority deems necessary.

What Costs Should You Expect?

There is no fixed cost for Section 278 agreements, and they can vary depending on several factors such as the scale of the development, location, and complexity of work. However, some common costs you can expect include:

1. Design and consultation fees: Before the agreement can be drafted, the developer needs to work with the highways authority to design the necessary work. This typically involves consultations and surveys, and the costs can vary depending on the scale of the development and the complexity of the work.

2. Legal fees: Section 278 agreements are legally binding documents that require input from solicitors and lawyers. The costs associated with legal fees can be significant and vary depending on the complexity of the agreement.

3. Roadworks and infrastructure costs: Once the agreement is in place, the developer is responsible for carrying out the necessary roadworks. They must also install any infrastructure such as traffic lights, roundabouts, and pedestrian crossings. The cost of these roadworks and infrastructure can vary significantly, depending on the complexity of the work and location.

How Can You Minimize Costs?

While Section 278 agreements are necessary, there are several ways to minimize costs associated with them:

1. Work with a reputable consultant: One of the best ways to reduce costs is by working with a consultant with experience in Section 278 agreements. A professional consultant will help you understand the necessary requirements and ensure that you do not overspend on unnecessary work.

2. Plan efficiently: Planning is critical, and the earlier you start planning for the Section 278 agreement, the better. This will allow you to understand the risks involved and identify areas where you can save on costs.

3. Negotiate with the highway authority: When drafting the Section 278 agreement, it is often possible to negotiate with the highways authority. This can help to reduce costs and ensure that you only pay for the necessary work.

In conclusion, Section 278 agreements are an essential component of development projects that involve changes to the public highway. While the costs can vary, it is necessary to take steps to minimize expenses where possible. By working with a reputable consultant, planning effectively, and negotiating with the highways authority, you can reduce costs and ensure that the development project is implemented successfully.