The property owner must apply for a Section 50 licence from us to place or maintain apparatus in, on or over the public highway such as:

  • installation of sewer
  • water service
  • cables

To excavate on the public carriageway or footway without first applying for and being granted a license is an offence and may result in a prosecution. 

The applicant must hold a current certificate demonstrating a competent knowledge of Chapter 8 of the Traffic Signs Manual and a minimum Public Liability Insurance of £5,000,000. It is the applicants responsibility to determine the appropriate level of cover. You will also be responsible where the excavations are likely to involve the Public Undertakers services (cables, wires, pipes, etc.) to give them three days notice of your intentions. 

Location plans of Statutory Undertakers apparatus must be on site prior to occupation of the highway. In the event of any damage caused to such services during the course of your work the owners should be informed immediately.

If you are connecting to a utility service you will also need their permission before you carry out any work as well as the licence from us.

We may require a bond from the property owner the work is deemed to be of a high risk nature to cover any potential damage to the public highway.

The licence holder will be responsible for a guarantee of any reinstatement of the highway for a 2 year period commencing on completion of the permanent reinstatement.


Three types of application can be applied for:

  1. Major Works

    Where a licence period of between 10 and 28 days is required. These applications must be made 3 months in advance of the start date. Renewals of Major Works licences must be applied for giving 10 days notice and will be for a maximum of 28 days.
  2. Standard Works

    For a maximum licence period of 10 days. Applications or renewals made with less than 10 days notice will attract enhanced charges.
  3. Emergency Works

    For a maximum licence period of 10 days but enhanced charges will apply.

The owner of the items being deposited on the highway must apply for the licence. 

  Download the street works application

You may also need to apply for a Road Closure or permission to use Temporary Traffic Lights.


The cost will vary subject to notice given and if a site visit is required. Payment of £583.15 is required to place and retain new apparatus in the Public Highway.

  • £229.70 Administration Fee (non returnable)
  • £198.95 Capitalized Fee in lieu of annual charge.
  • £154.50 Inspection Fee

Payment of £285 is required to work on existing apparatus in the Public Highway

  • £130.50 Administration Fee (non returnable)
  • £154.50 Inspection Fee

License is 4 weeks from the date of issue, however an extension is possible for up to 12 weeks


If you are concerned about the safety of any licensed activity on the public highway, please report this to us.

  Report a problem with works and activity on the highway