Planning and highways

Planning and highways law covers a multitude of issues from the construction, subsequent dedication, or adoption of a new road or footpath and provision of associated bonds and other forms of security; the stopping up, repairs to or improvement of an existing highway, through to oversail or overhang licences. 

The Sharpe Pritchard planning law team is highly experienced in all aspects of highways law and provides the legal expertise to ensure outcomes are delivered to the highest quality. 

Our planning solicitors mainly support local authorities (including county as well as unitary authorities), but have also worked closely with highway authorities like Transport for London and the Highways Agency on a variety of schemes requiring a knowledge of highways legislation.

Our planning lawyers advise and assist clients on a full range of matters including:

  • advising, drafting and negotiating section 177 licences; section 8, 38 and 278 agreements;   
  • diverting or stopping up a highway, including securing the diversion or stopping up orders;
  • advising on the validity of traffic management orders;
  • schemes requiring substantial infrastructure works;
  • advising on planning policies with particular reference to the National Planning Policy Framework where a development requires highway works, transportation provision or improvements, or the delivery of adequate cycle parking/cycle hire facilities;
  • strategic advice on highways issues arising from regeneration schemes;
  • assisting highway officers and consultants at public inquiry. 

Recent work

  • acting for a London local authority in the drafting and negotiation of a separate section 278 agreements for works to be carried out by the developer pursuant to a section 106 agreement completed earlier. Such works to include road widening and installation of traffic signals, works to introduce indicative right turn lane markings at a junction and the optimisation of the traffic signal timings to reduce overall delays to pedestrians and vehicular traffic; and the construction of a loading bay and two crossovers including the installation of street signs, road markings, street lighting and drainage works together with the diversion of necessary statutory undertakers’ services accommodation works including reinstatement of boundary walls and resurfacing and realignment of pavements.
  • acting for a  London local authority in the negotiation and drafting of a Memorandum of Understanding (‘MoU’) in relation to considerable works to the highway at the start of the M1 in connection with the substantial regeneration of a shopping centre. The agreement sets out the basis of the works to be undertaken and the principles which are to be adhered to by the authority, its neighbouring authority, the Highways Agency, TfL and other interested parties to the transaction. We were instructed to advice the Council on the terms of the MoU, to provide advice,  negotiate and settle terms.
  • Providing advice to a highway authority on the status of a highway following a protracted period of maintenance and historic evidence of attempts at dedication and adoption.  The footpath had also been used by pedestrians for access and egress over a period of years. We were responsible for providing initial advice and seeking more detailed advice from Counsel once briefed. 


What others say

“I have very much enjoyed working with you and your colleagues and have always been satisfied with the service received” Senior planner, rural local authority.


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