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Section 278 submissions design and build technical submissions

This guidance is for use by developers seeking information regarding technical review and approval for Section 278 Agreements. As a developer once you have been granted planning permission and wish to proceed with implementation of the development and associated highway works you must enter into a Section 278 Agreement with Norfolk County Council (the Highway Authority) to carry out modifications to the existing public highway, in accordance with the Highways Act 1980.

In addition to Norfolk County Council, further agreement may be required with National Highways if the trunk road network is affected.

A Section 278 Agreement is applicable to all works involving modifications within the existing public highway. Notwithstanding the discussions and outcome of the planning stage, the works to be included in the Section 278 Agreement will require technical approval.

The technical approval process will include road safety audits and may involve dedication of new areas of land to the County Council. Where land dedication or an easement is required, title to the land will need to be registered at Land Registry in the name of the developer (or other interested parties to the Section 278 Agreement) prior to completion of the agreement.

Please note: work must not commence on the public highway until a Section 278 Agreement has been completed and a start date has been agreed with Streetworks following technical approval of the detailed design by the County Council.

Information required for technical review

Developers are advised to appoint a recognised engineering consultant to prepare detailed design drawings for the highway works associated with their development. These proposals should be submitted to the County Council for technical review and must include the following:

  • Detailed Engineering Layout Plans to an appropriate scale (ideally either 1:250 or 1:500) on a detailed topographical survey base model.
  • The topographical survey must be of a standard suitable for detailed design and construction (not just for planning permission or preliminary design).
  • The package of detailed design plans should include (where applicable):
    • General Arrangement
    • Site Clearance
    • Safety Fencing and Vehicle Restraint System (VRS)
    • Drainage
    • Levels Layout (including contours plan)
    • Earthworks
    • Pavement Construction/Carriageway Surfacing
    • Kerbs, Footways and Cycleways
    • Traffic Signs and Road Markings (including Signage Schedule)
    • Traffic Signals
    • Street Lighting and Electrical Works
    • Existing Utilities and details of proposed diversions
    • Landscaping
    • Swept path analysis (Auto track runs)
    • Visibility splays at junctions
    • Extents of proposed Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO)
  • Site Location Plan showing the application site/development layout and extents of Section 278 highway works edged in red (ideal scale 1:2500).
  • Land Dedication Plan clearly showing land to be dedicated in pink - specifying the area of the affected land in relation to the existing highway boundary (ideal scale 1:500). The plan should include the proposed highway layout and clearly show if land will be dedicated by more than one landowner and coloured accordingly. Evidence of registered title should be provided.
  • Drainage Easement Plan showing features subject to the easements in blue (ideal scale 1:500). The plan should include the proposed highway layout and clearly show if there is more than one landowner. Evidence of registered title should be provided.
  • Full drainage details showing longitudinal sections, invert levels, manhole schedule and position, gully positions, outfall details, Sustainable Urban Drainage (SUDS) details, evidence of groundwater levels, drainage calculations and infiltration test results.
  • Longitudinal sections at 1:500 horizontal scale and 1:100 vertical scale.
  • Cross sections at 1:100 scale and at 10m intervals.
  • Typical cross sections showing construction details at 1:50 scale.
  • Copies of AutoCAD files for all drawings.
  • Design in accordance to relevant Norfolk County Council standard details.
  • Specifications for the works in accordance with the Manual of Contract Documents for Highway Works.
  • Full details of site investigations, soil parameters and calculations including:
    • Drainage calculation and modelling (Micro Drainage networks and calculations)
    • Road Restraints Risk Assessment Process (RRRAP)
    • Traffic signals calculation and controller's specification
    • Pavement design specification, calculations and report
    • California Bearing Ratio (CBR) test results
    • Arboricultural Method Statements (if trees/hedges are affected)
    • Traffic sign design (Key Signs or similar software)
  • A copy of all previous relevant approvals and agreements, such as planning conditions (including confirmation of discharge if available), Internal Drainage Board (IDB) approvals and other County Council design agreements. This will also need to include any third party approval necessary for accommodation works or proposed utility diversions (including cost estimates).
  • Full details of any structural works on the highway. A consulting engineer should certify all drawings and calculations before granting of technical approval is considered. Work on existing highway structures or the construction of new highway structures shall not be permitted without full technical approval and completion of the Section 278 Agreement.
  • Stage 1 and Stage 2 Road Safety Audit (if not carried out by the County Council) and Designer's response.

Please note that this is not intended as a complete list and it is expected that not all of this information will be relevant on all projects. However, completeness of the information submitted will be reviewed against this list for each proposed development.

It is not possible to start the technical approval process until all relevant documents (as detailed above) have been received. Submissions may be rejected or delayed if any relevant information is missing and will only be considered and reviewed once all necessary information has been received. Failure to provide this information may also lead to an increase in the proposed fee to conduct the technical approval process.


To enable the design/technical review process to start, Development Management will ask for an Abortive Cost Agreement (ACA) to be signed and for an initial fee deposit to be paid.

Please note the deposit is not a fixed fee as the County Council costs are on a time recharge basis and that further funds may be requested (or refunded if not required) through the ACA as the technical approval process is conducted. We will endeavour to provide an estimate of the overall ACA cost early upon receipt of the detailed design documentation. This will be subject to review depending upon the quality of the submission and the complexity of the project.

Further sums will be requested to support the Section 278 Agreement, please see the Post-Planning processes document 'Part 2: How to Deliver Associated Highways and Transport Measures' that can be downloaded from our website or contact the Development Management Case Officer for more information.

Indicative timescales

The timescales shown below are indicative only and are taken from the date at which all necessary drawings and other appropriate information has been supplied as well as a signed ACA and the initial payment is received from the developer.

Please note that these are average response times which may vary depending upon the complexity and quality of the submission and should be used as a guide only. The Highway Design Teams will advise on the likely response times once the request has been passed from Development Management for technical review. This will be subject to existing commitments and workload within the service at that time.

  • Initial contact from the engineer appointed to undertake technical vetting (from approved submission of the scheme drawings, ACA and receipt of fee from developer): 4 weeks
  • First response to submitted drawing package (from initial contact): 12 weeks

A duration of up to 12 weeks may be required to enable the appointed engineer to conduct a technical review of the submitted documents and to collate feedback from different specialisms within the County Council such as highway boundaries, environment, maintenance, structures or street lighting and to allow time for a Road Safety Audit to be conducted.

If specialist laboratory advice is required (i.e. ground investigation, carriageway pavement and/or drainage design) then a period of up to 12 weeks must be allowed. We will of course aim to respond more quickly whenever possible.

  • Subsequent responses to revised drawing package: 4 weeks

The timescale for the overall technical review process will be subject to the level of engagement with the developer's engineering consultant, their response times and the number of iterations required before the submitted documents can be approved.

  • Promote Traffic Regulation Order: Up to nine months
  • Following completion of technical approval, Developers should be aware of the timescales required for Section 278 approval which could be three to nine months from the completed design check.
  • Norfolk County Council Streetworks will not give approval to work on the highway until the Section 278 Agreement is in place (and may require a 12 week notice period).

Standard Detail Drawings

Our standard detail drawings are available for download (PDF) [7MB]