1.2 Authority to construct new roads

1.2.1 Road Construction Consent

Under the terms of Section 21 of the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984, any person other than a Roads Authority who wishes to construct a new road or extend an existing road must obtain Road Construction Consent (RCC). This may be granted by the Council as Roads Authority and road construction works may only be undertaken while the Road Construction Consent remains valid.

In East Lothian, Road Construction Consent will be granted only where proposals for the layout and construction of roads, structures, road drainage, streetlighting and vehicle chargers meet the standards detailed on these webpages. Since economy of maintenance will be a major consideration in the assessment of applications for Road Construction Consent, the use of structures to support roads (i.e. retaining walls and bridges) should be avoided wherever possible.

Road Construction Consent is normally required where a new public road will serve three or more dwellings.

1.2.2 Private accesses

Where fewer than three dwellings are proposed, an access (rather than a road) may be permitted.

An access is defined as any way over which the public does not have right of passage. In residential developments, an access may serve up to two dwellings.

Access to steading developments should make reference to the Council’s Farm Steading Design Supplementary Planning Guidance

1.2.3 Road Bonds

For a residential development of more than two houses, under the terms of Section 17 of the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984, the Security for Private Road Works (Scotland) Regulation 1985 (S.I. 2080) and The Security for Private Road Works (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 1998, developers are required to make financial provision in order to safeguard the completion of roads which are the subject of a Road Construction Consent, where these serve housing sites.

When we refer to a Road Bond, we mean the amount of monies or a security which is lodged with the Council which may be used to construct the road where the developer does not do so in accordance with the terms of the RCC. Such provision protects prospective house purchasers from having to bring incomplete roads up to adoptable standards. No building works may commence until the road bond has been lodged. The value of the security will be indicated on application for Road Construction Consent and will be calculated using current rates for construction of drainage, carriageways, footways and street lighting. No Road Bond will be required for sites being taken forward by a housing association.

The Road Bond will be released in three stages:

  1. When the road has been completed to binder course and other major features such as drainage infrastructure has been installed
  2. When an application for inspection (on substantial completion) of the road and other related works has been approved
  3. On expiry of the maintenance period or addition to the list of public roads.

We will, pending adoption of the road, hold a minimum of 10% of the original value of the Road Bond.

We will require as-built drawings to be submitted on completion of the construction work.

1.2.4 Other consents

Road Construction Consent does not exempt the applicant from obtaining any other permissions that may be required such as Planning Permission, Building Warrants, or approval for connection to a sewer.

Where a development which affects the stability of adjacent public roads or footways is proposed (for example, by deep basement excavations, ground anchoring systems, wall footings and so on), the consent of the Roads Authority is required, even although this may not involve the construction of new roads.

Note: These webpages are for reference by developers of housing and employment sites in East Lothian.
They provide guidance on transport infrastructure against which Planning Applications will be assessed
and evaluated, and set out East Lothian Council's procedures regarding the construction and adoption
of new roads in accordance with current legislation.
These pages supersede all previous versions of our Standards for Development Roads document.

01/07/2023 Document release
02/07/2023 Updated text in section 1.2.3
23/11/23 Added text in section 1.2.3 to clarify that no Road Bond is required for a site being taken forward for a housing association