Highway Development Control
Highway Development Control ensures that new developments do not have a detrimental impact on Neath Port Talbots road network, including road safety, traffic flow, traffic generation and the environment. It also deals with land drainage and water course consents.
The Section covers:
- Planning Applications – Highways
- Statutory Road Agreements
- Land Drainage
- Ordinary Water Course Consents
Sustainable Urban Drainage
Planning Applications - Highways
The Highway Development Control Section has an important role within the development control system. The Local Planning Authority (LPA) has the power to refuse/accept development proposals/applications directly. The LPA must consult the Highway Authority (HA), if the development fronts a classified road. It is the Highway Authority's role to give highway observations on whether a development will have a detrimental impact on traffic and road safety.
Planning applications can fall into three types that are submitted to the LPA, which are assessed and decided by Development Control Officers with recommendation made by the Highway Development Control Section:
1. Outline Planning Applications
Highway Input and Land Drainage Input
>This will look at the principle of a development but does not give permission for work to commence on site. Specific details such as the proposed layout of the site do not have to be given at this time but an indicative layout might assist in defining the possible layout. The permission notice if granted, states which matters have been reserved for later approval. No work may begin on site until all of the reserved matters have been approved.
2. Detailed (Full) Planning Applications
An applicant may apply for full planning permission where full details of a development are known. Detailed plans need to be submitted outlining for example means of access, the internal layout, landscaping, elevations and car parking arrangements. Before work can start on site detailed permission is required.
Land Drainage Input
This will require details of any existing water course or means of drainage of a site which is not part of the public sewer, or connection to an existing watercourse.
3. Change of use
Highway input into this type of planning application may be required if there are changes in traffic patterns that differ to the original use.
On considering a planning application, three types of recommendations are available to the Highway Authority:
No highway objections to the proposal - where there is no detrimental affect on the highway;
Request planning conditions - where the application will be acceptable in highway terms subject to certain conditions. This may include developer contributions to facilitate the provision of a safe access or sustainable transport measures;
Request refusal of the planning application on highway grounds – these can be challenged at appeal, if the LPA agrees with the refusal and refuses the application.
Note: The Highway Authority can only make recommendations. The final decision rests with the Planning Authority.
Further information about the planning process can be viewed online on the Authority’s website.
Approved planning applications can be subject to conditions and/or legal agreements.
Section 106 agreements
Section 106 Agreements
Under Section 106 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990, the Local Planning Authority may require the applicant to contribute to facilities. These may include, affordable housing, open space and sustainable transport measures for example. Early discussions with both planning and highway officers to clarify what might be required is encouraged.
Section 38 Agreements
Where a planning application involves a new estate road for example, developers are required to design them to standards approved by the Council. Following the granting of planning permission and before commencing construction on site, developers are requested to enter into an agreement and bond to cover the full cost of the road construction under Section 38 of the Highways Act 1980. Without such an agreement in place developers will be required to make deposit with the Council under the Advanced Payment code.
Developers are advised to discuss these issues with the Council's Highway Development Control section at an early stage to avoid delays at the implementation stage.
Section 278 Agreements
Where a development requires work to be carried out within the boundaries of the existing highway and the Council is satisfied that the works will be of benefit to the public, an Agreement will need to be completed between the developer and Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council under Section 278 of the Highways Act 1980. These works could incorporate such items as traffic calming, a new roundabout, traffic signals or other junction improvement as examples, where such an Agreement would be necessary.
Under the provisions of Section 278, the developer can:
- be appointed as the Authorities agent to carry out the works at their own expense, in which case the Agreement must be supported by a bond;
- contribute towards the future maintenance of the completed works with a commuted sum.
Under no circumstances shall works be permitted within the limits of the publicly maintained highway until the Section 278 Agreement and bond are secured.
Before the signing of the Section 278 Agreement full engineering drawings will need to be formally approved, where a charge is made for this service prior to a formal letter of technical approval is given.
The Developer must use an appropriate contractor to under take works on the publically maintained highway who is from the Council’s select list of contractors who has been approved to undertake that value of works.
Section 38 and 278 Agreements
Where a simple junction is to be created or works to allow the development include private and existing public maintained highway a combined Section 38/278 Agreement shall be used. An example of this could be right turn lane, roundabout, signals where the land required for these works is both on the developers land and public maintained highway. The works involved would be subject to the same conditions as those above, and discussions should be undertaken with staff of the Highway Development Control Section at the earliest opportunity.