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Highway licensing

The policy provides the framework we use to control certain interference with the highway. The ability to grant licences allows us to put safety measures in place on our highways.

The following items are subject to the policy and the granting of a licence or consent:

  • Projecting signs, canopies and projections from buildings
  • Tables and chairs (cafés) on the highway
  • Pavement displays outside shops
  • "A" boards on the highway
  • Builders' skips on the highway
  • Planting trees, shrubs in the highway
  • Scaffolding on the highway
  • Hoardings, portable cabins, building materials, rubbish and other things (including storage containers)
  • Buildings on the highway
  • Bridges over the highway
  • Cellars and vaults under the highway
  • Beams, cables, wires and pipes along, over or across the highway
  • Openings into cellars and vaults under streets

Guidance and requirement

The policy sets out minimum requirements for applications and, where appropriate, guidance on what would and what would not be acceptable. The policy also sets out the technical details that need to be covered in some applications.

Application requirements

The requirements for each type of licence differ. The policy explains in detail what you must submit to us to make an application valid.


There is an administration fee for each case so the application can be logged, considered and determined. The fees differ by application type, proportionate to the amount of time and resources it takes to determine an application of that particular type.

Standard conditions

Licences are subject to a number of standard conditions. Special conditions relating to a particular location or a specific proposal may also be imposed. The conditions vary by application type. They are set out in the policy so potential applicants can check the conditions before they make an application.

If you have any queries about the policy or an application, contact the Enforcement Team on 0191 433 7225 or