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Highways Development Control

As a responsible highway authority we must ensure that any new development has the minimum adverse impact on highway safety, traffic capacity, environmental capacity and convenience to transport users as a whole.

Planning applications for most forms of development are submitted to the district councils for determination. The exceptions are mineral extractions, landfill sites and our own buildings, which we deal with.

If the proposed development is adjoining an A or B class road or is likely to lead to a material increase in traffic on C or unclassified roads then the district councils (or us as the county planning authority) will consult the Highway Authority for its views on the suitability or otherwise of the proposal. For minor applications on lesser important roads such as C class or unclassified roads, the district council also seeks comment us, except in Aylesbury Vale where comment is provided by engineers at Aylesbury Vale District Council.

The parish councils will be consulted independently by the planning authority and would subsequently respond with its own views and comments.


It is essential that objections to any aspect of any planning application are made to the relevant planning authority. Copy letters of objection (to the planning authority) relating to highways and transportation matters can be sent to BCC (as local highway authority).

As a statutory consultee in the planning procedure, we have 21 days in which to respond to the highway issues. Our recommendations are made by the Head of Transportation, under delegated authority. Recommendations are usually in the form of:

  • No objection without conditions
  • No objection with conditions or
  • Refusal

When an application is recommended for refusal, we must be prepared to defend our position on appeal. Spurious reasons for refusal may result in developers seeking the recovery of their costs associated with any appeal from the local planning authority.


When considering an application on its own merits we will have regard to:

  • Impact on highway safety.
  • Existing and future capacity of the local highway network.
  • Design of the new access or road layout.
  • Environmental issues.
  • Accessibility for all modes of transport.
  • Convenience to users of the highway and of the development.
  • National Planning Policy Guidance Statements, Regional Guidance Statements and policies contained in the County Structure Plan, the District Local Plan, and the Local Transport Plan.

Highways development control advises on the highways/transportation requirements for new developments and negotiates developer contributions for on-street highway works and transportation initiatives, measures and improvements.

The Department for Transport (DfT) document, 'Manual for Streets' (MfS1) published in 2007 provides guidance for practitioners involved in the planning, design, provision and approval of new residential streets, and modifications to existing ones. Manual for Streets 2: Wider Application of the Principles (MfS2) was published in September 2010 and forms a companion guide to Manual for Streets (MfS1). The MfS1 and MfS2 design approach helps everyone involved in the planning, construction and improvement of our streets to deliver more contextually sensitive designs.

Buckinghamshire County Council has adopted a policy that outlines a formal Council position on how the Manual for Streets 1 & 2 design guidance will be applied which is available for download below.

The MfS2 guidance can also be purchased online .


We aim to adopt (take responsibility for the maintenance of) all residential roads serving more than five homes, but developers cannot be required to offer such roads for adoption if they do not wish to do so.

Highways development control seeks to ensure that all new roads for adoption comply with current best practice and standards.

For more information email or call the relevant officer for each district:

Wycombe District Area - 01494 585355

Aylesbury Vale District Area - 01296 387084

Chiltern District Area - 01296 387992

South Bucks District Area - 01296 387992


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