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Highway licensing

The policy provides the framework around which we can effectively control certain interference with the highway. The ability to grant licences provides us with the operational tools to put in place measures to ensure the safety of highway users.

The matters in relation to which a licence or consent can be granted, and which are subject to the policy, are set out below:

  • 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 in some circumstances technical details to be covered in applications.

Application requirements

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


In each case there is an administration fee to pay in order that the application can be logged, considered and determined. The fees will differ by application type with the size of the fee being proportionate to the amount of time and resources it takes to determine an application of that particular type.

Standard conditions

Where a licence is granted it will be subject to a number of standard conditions; additionally special conditions relating to a particular location or a specific proposal may also be imposed. The conditions vary by application type and are set out in the policy so that potential applicants can familiarise themselves with the conditions in advance of making an application.

Any queries in relation to the policy should be directed to the Enforcement Team either by telephone on 0191 433 7225 or by e-mail to


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