Highways Development Management

The county council as highway authority is a statutory consultee for all planning applications with transport impact, as well as authorising authority for any resulting highway works (under Section 278 and Section 38 agreements) required as part of a development.

Pre-application advice

We welcome and encourage discussions on the transport impacts of new development proposals before a developer submits a planning application.  

By seeking transport pre-application advice, developers are able to work collaboratively with us to solve problems, enhance sustainability, improve the quality of designs and provide more certainty for stakeholders.  

Read more:


Email HighwaysPlanning@hertfordshire.gov.uk for more information.


Planning applications

We comment on all planning applications which have an impact on transport.

Contact your local district or borough council for information on planning applications.

Your district or borough council


The county council is the Local Planning Authority for planning applications involving mineral workings, waste management activities and our own services.


Section 278 agreement

As the highway authority, we give authorisation for any work on the highway.


Any unauthorised work on the highway, undertaken without a Section 278 Agreement (or other required highway consent), will result in enforcement action taken against the developer and / or contractor. That includes the recovery of costs.

Becoming an approved contractor to work on the public highway

Work on the public highway can only be undertaken by a contractor that we approve.

As the local highway authority in Hertfordshire, we provide a free assessment of contractors that want to undertake works on the public highway. 

How to apply
Email us a copy of:

  • your valid CHAS Certificate and a covering letter. You must be CHAS approved.
  • a copy of your £10million Public Liability Insurance
  • Proof of experience of working on the Highways
  • 2 references.


Do I need to be approved for s278, s38 and s50 works?
Yes, you must be approved by us to carry out these works on the public highway.

Even if we've approved you, you still need to get a Section 50 licence.


What constitutes breach or removal from the list?

  • Breach of any Highway related current Legislation, i.e. The Traffic Management Act, New Roads & Street Works Act and The Highways Act.
  • Failure to comply with current Safety at Street Works and Road Works (CoP).
  • Working on the highway without the required agreement or a permit being in place.
  • Repeated poor quality work.
  • Use of a non-approved sub-contractor.

For more information email approved.contractor@hertfordshire.gov.uk.


Road adoption (Section 38)

New roads

New roads that have been constructed by developers will normally be adopted through a Section 38 Agreement.

Once a road is adopted it is ‘highway maintainable at public expense’.

Until a road is adopted, its maintenance remains the responsibility of either the developer/owner and/ or those living along the road.


Existing roads

If you would like to offer an existing road for adoption as highway
maintainable at public expense, the following criteria will need to be satisfied:

  • The road provides wider public utility
  • The road must be constructed to an adoptable standard
  • The road must be offered for adoption by the owner (usually the developer) of the road.
  • An Agreement under the terms of Section 38 of the Highways Act 1980 is made between the owner/developer and the County Council.

Find out if your road is adopted


Travel plans

Travel plans are essential for sustainable development. They aim to deliver sustainable transport objectives through a positive action plan.

We've created a Travel plan guidance document for business and residential development (May 2014) to help create a good travel plan. 

As part of the BigHertsBigIdeas business partnership, we're inviting businesses to develop a transport strategy or travel plan with the aim of promoting more efficient and sustainable ways of travelling in the county.

If you have any questions, email us at travelplan@hertfordshire.gov.uk

Roads in Hertfordshire - Highway design guide

Our guide gives detailed design advice on road improvements made by the county council, its agents, developers or any other third party.

As well as setting out advice relating to the layout of roads and other highway features in Hertfordshire, the design guide describes the standards that must be met before adoption of highways can take place.

This guidance will be reviewed regularly and any feedback is welcome. Please contact us via Roadsin.Hertfordshire@hertfordshire.gov.uk

Highways design guide documents