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Highway criteria

This can be broken down into two areas:

Highway Planning

  • The analysis of Highway information submitted to support any pre-application inquiry or planning application and give recommendations to the Planning Development Control Section.

Highway adoption

  • Requirements for works to be undertaken in developing a new roads to access developments that will allow the highway to be adopted or works undertaken on the existing highway.

Highway planning

The design of highway layouts for any new development shall be in accordance with the current Design Guide of the Authority.

Highway adoption

All roads to be constructed shall be designed in accordance with the Authority's highway specification document.

Adoption procedure

The Highway Authority does not support the creation of new private streets and it is therefore expected that all roads and associated elements will be designed to this Guide or to such other standards as may be agreed with the Highway Authority at the time.

The Highway Authority has published a Construction Specification which is available to Developers.

As a general guide, the following elements would be considered for adoption:-

  1. Roads and footways including lay-bys adjacent to shops.
  2. Footpaths and cycle-tracks which are intended for use by the public and which form distinct communal routes.
  3. Hard or soft landscaped areas which contribute towards the satisfactory functioning of the highway (i.e. service verges and visibility splay areas). Visibility splays at individual private accesses will not be adopted.
  4. Portions of the drainage network which will carry only run off from adopted areas.
  5. Drives serving up to 5 dwellings will be adopted, these shall have signs placed at the entrance to the drive stating that they are private and will remain as such.
  6. Roads not to be put forward for adoption by a developer must be agreed from the start. Associated signing on site to declare it is private must be installed by the developer prior to the occupation of any dwelling.

When a development is approved under the Building Regulations the Highway Authority will serve the statutory notice required under the provisions of the Advance Payments Code contained in the Highway Act, 1980.

Prior to the commencement of construction the Developer must either:-

(i) Deposit with the Highway Authority a payment equal to the estimated cost of the highway works under the Advance Payments Code, Section 219 of the Highways Act, 1980.


(ii) Enter into an agreement with the Highway Authority under the provisions of Section 38 of the Highways Act, 1980, supported by an appropriate bond and inspection fee.

If an early start to construction is essential the Developer must make an Advance Payment Notice deposit.  This deposit if in cash will be refunded following completion of a Section 38 Agreement.

It is an offence to commence work before the deposit is paid.

Plans submitted for incorporation into Section 38 Agreements must show the following details:-

  1. All carriageways, footways and footpaths
  2. Service strips
  3. Street lighting columns, cable-runs and electricity supply points
  4. All elements of drainage located under areas which will be offered for adoption by the Highway Authority
  5. Details of any highway retaining walls which are to be offered for adoption or which are adjacent to the future adopted area
  6. Details of any culverts under areas to be offered for adoption
  7. Details of visibility areas to be offered for adoption
  8. Street furniture, salt bins, bus stops, bins, benches, etc.
  9. All utility plans for the new development

Under the provision of the Highways Act, 1980, the approval of the Highway Authority must be obtained for the construction of any highway retaining wall, any part of which is higher than 1.37m (4 ft 6 ins) and closer than 3.66m (4 yards) to the existing or proposed highway boundary.

In addition to the walls described above the Developer is required to obtain Highway Approval of ANY wall which will retain a Public Highway as such walls are likely to be adopted as part of the road structure. The Developer shall be required to pay a commuted sum to the Highway Authority to cover the future maintenance liability for the wall following adoption. (It is suggested that that use of retaining walls be avoided wherever possible). All walls over 1.5m high will require construction drawings together with associated structural calculations.

The Highway Authority will not adopt residents’ parking spaces or landscaped areas which do not contribute towards the satisfactory functioning of the highway.

Developers’ attention is drawn to the provisions of Section 278 of the Highways Act, 1980 in cases where a development would require access or other works to be carried out within the existing highway. Where highway works to benefit a development require land adjacent to an existing highway to be constructed upon together with works on the existing public maintained highway, a hybrid S38/278 shall be used. Works that are to be undertaken within the existing public maintained highway only will require a S278 agreement. No Work shall be undertaken on the existing public maintained highway until the appropriate legal agreement has been entered into.

Development layouts which do not accord with the foregoing guidelines with regard to layout or which make use of materials or facilities not normally adopted by the Highway Authority may be considered for adoption but the Developer will be required to provide a reasoned justification for their introduction and will require a commuted sum for the use of such materials.

As part of the adoption process the following information will be required to be submitted to formalise any agreement.

  1. Developer’s full name and address/registered office
  2. Telephone number
  3. Developer’s solicitors
  4. Proposed Surety’s full name and address/registered office
The site layout shall be coloured in accordance with the following:
Feature Colour
Carriageway Burnt Sienna
Footway Paynes Grey
Verges Green
Asphalt Dark Grey
Highway Drainage Blue
Street Lighting Red
Easements Yellow

The adoption agreement shall require 8 copies of each drawing including the sites location plan at a scale of 1/2500 showings the developer’s land ownership.

If a retrospective agreement is entered into, an as built survey must be provided and agreed by the Senior Development Management Engineer. A retrospective agreement will be subject to fees based on the cost of constructing the roads network at current prices.

Works on the Highway

Developers are reminded that consent under the Town and Country Planning Act, 1990/91, conveys no approval for works to be undertaken affecting any part of the public highway, including verges and footways. The Developer must:-

  1. Obtain the approval of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council as Highway Authority for the details of any works to be undertaken in the Public Highway.
  2. Indemnify the Authority against all claims arising from such works, including claims under the Land Compensation Act.
  3. Give not less than 1 calendar month’s notice in writing of the date of commencement of the works.

Road openings in public highways for the provision of or alteration to services are controlled by the New Roads and Street-works Act, 1991, and the Developer must adhere strictly to the provisions of this Act.

All enquiries and notices regarding proposed works within existing public highways should be directed to:

The relevant engineer contact on (01639) 686850 should be used when undertaking any alterations to existing highway structure on the public highway (Section 38/278 or 278).

For items covered under 17.1.2, New Street Works Act 1991 contact the Traffic Manager on (01639 686305)