Skip to main content

Coronavirus: latest information on our response, updates on our services and what support is available

Roads – 5. Completion and adoption

Flow chart of the road adoption completion phase


The adoption process under Section 38 is normally split into three stages referred to as Parts 1, 2 and Final. Certificates are issued on completion of each stage.

The adoption process for highway agreements under S278, which may be appended to a Section 106, agreement has two stages. The process is the same as for S38 but without a stage 1.

Throughout the whole process the developer has the role and responsibilities of street manager to maintain all the works until the issue of the final certificate.

Section 38, Part 1 certificate: substantial completion

The S38 Part 1 certificate will be issued when the works (not necessarily to include the surface course) and maintenance defects items listed on the Schedule Part 1 of the Section 38 Agreement are completed to the satisfaction of the proper officer.

Newly constructed buildings must not be occupied prior to the issue of the Part 1 certificate if they are accessed from the works which are subject to that S38 Agreement.

On issue of the Part 1 certificate the works subject to that agreement will become dedicated highway but will remain maintainable at the developer’s expense.

Section 38, Part 2 certificate / Section 278 or 106, Part 1 certificate: completion

For S38 works the completion certificate will be issued when the items listed on the Schedule Part 2 of the S38 agreement are completed to the satisfaction of the proper officer.

For S278 or S106 works, the completion certificate will be issued when the items listed on the Highways Schedule of the S278 or S106 agreement are completed to the satisfaction of the proper officer.

A maintenance period of not less than twelve months commences with the issue of the completion certificate. During the maintenance period, the developer as street manager remains fully responsible for all maintenance of the works including any damage, however caused, and may choose to take out appropriate insurance against such risks.

Section 38 / Section 278 or 106: final certificate

The developer shall contact the council in writing with a view to undertaking the final inspection prior to the end of the maintenance period. In addition to completing all remedial works identified in the final inspection, the following is required prior to the completion of the adoption process:

  • issue of the health and safety file, including a detailed topographic ‘as built’ survey drawing of the highway as adopted
  • detailed asset records of all highway features, using standard templates
  • street lighting and traffic signal testing and inspection certificates
  • CCTV as-built survey of highway drainage
  • confirmation that all drainage covered by the Section 104 agreement has been fully adopted by the public water authority

On full and satisfactory completion of these requirements, the council will:

  • issue the final certificate
  • release the bond
  • take over or resume the maintenance of and responsibility for the new highway

If you have any questions about applying for either the adoption of new highway or the modification of existing highway please contact the Development Implementation team. Completed applications can also be sent via this address but please be advised that we cannot begin work on your project until we are in receipt of the £1,000 initial fee.

Is there anything wrong with this page?