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Highways licence

If you want to place scaffolding, hoarding, building materials, containers or temporary cross-overs on the public highway you will need to apply for a highways licence.


Red routes

Please note that Transport for London (TfL) is the issuing authority for any highways licence on a red route. You can identify red routes by the red no-stopping lines and signs along the road. Apply for a licence on a red route.

Applications to the Council

Your application needs to be made at least 10 working days before a licence is required. In an emergency, please contact us for advice on exceptional circumstances. Please note you must complete a separate form for each activity.

Please ensure that you pay the £50 fee or enclose it with your application if applying by post. The fee covers administrative costs and officer time on site, and is non-refundable. It is however credited against the total fee due for an application at the address in question. You must also attach your public liability insurance information.


You can also complete and post a highways licence application form.

Site visit

Once your application and payment have been received, officers will arrange a site meeting, where the existing condition of the highway will be noted. At the meeting, you will be advised of any specific conditions with which you will need to comply, the fee due (after off-setting the £50 payment already made) and a deposit. The deposit is taken to off-set the costs of any remedial work if you cause damage to the highway. If there is no damage, the deposit is refunded in full.

After the site visit you must:

  • pay the remainder of the fee and
  • pay the deposit

Please note that the remaining fee and deposit should be paid within 5 days of the site visit.

Extending your licence

Licences are usually issued for a period of 3 months. If your activity is going on longer than that, you can apply to extend the licence. There is a cost for this. For further details on extending a licence please contact us.


When you have cleared the site, you can apply for a refund of your deposit. An officer will visit to check the state of the highway and advise if remedial works are needed. You will be advised of the cost and any refund will be adjusted accordingly.

Page updated on: 10 October 2019

Streetscene (Highways)


Hackney Service Centre
1 Hillman Street
E8 1DY

Opening times

  • Mon to Fri 9am - 5pm (reception opening hours). Mon to Fri 9am - 5pm (phone calls).