Street Works - Applying for a Licence

Street Works - Applying for a Licence
Licence Summary

Utility companies and highway authorities are granted a licence by the Secretary of State to place and maintain apparatus in the public highway. Legislation allows for private individuals to also obtain a licence which is applied for and administered by the relevant highway authority.


Such licences are granted under Section 50 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 and are valid for as long as the apparatus remains in the public highway.


The licence allows for the installation of the apparatus, future maintenance (such as repairs) and removal. The Licence holder is responsible for ensuring that the licence is amended during a transfer of land ownership (land sold to another party).

Eligibility Criteria

Applications must be made by the owner of the proposed apparatus and/or the land to which the apparatus will service. The applicant will need to consider and accept the responsibilities placed on a licence holder and provide:


  • Full details of the proposed apparatus including the type, purpose, construction method and location.
  • Evidence of Public Liability Insurance valid for the full duration of the proposed permit with a minimum cover of £10,000,000 
  • Confirm that they are the apparatus/landowner
Regulation Summary

In summary, a licence holder is required to:


  • Contact all organisations who may have an interest in the highway (utility companies, etc) to notify them of the proposal, seek objections or concerns and obtain copies of existing apparatus in the location in question. A contact list is available on request.
  • Ensure works are planned correctly and carried out expeditiously.
  • Ensure that all conditions applied to the licence are fulfilled
  • Notify the highway authority of any issues that arise.
  • Provide an as-built drawing on completion of works.
  • Ensure the apparatus is maintained and does not cause a danger to the public or damage to the highway infrastructure including other apparatus.
  • Indemnify the highway authority against all claims including injury, damage or loss arising from any aspect of the apparatus or structure licensed including installation, maintenance and removal and also as a result of the presence of the apparatus or structure. It is therefore necessary that suitable insurance is in place for the life of the licence and must cover a minimum of £10,000,000 for each claim with no limit to the number of claims.
  • Ensure the licence is correctly transferred to a third party if the land/apparatus is sold.

Fees will be payable at the time of application and further conditions in addition to the standard conditions may be applied.

Application Evaluation Process

The evaluation process:


  • Payment of the application is received upfront before assessment
  • The application will be validated to ensure that the applicant has confirmed that they are the owner of the apparatus and agree to the licence conditions
  • The proposal will be reviewed and consideration given to alternative options, the effect on the highway and potential risk to the highway infrastructure and the public.
  • Evidence of third party agreements will be reviewed if applicable (such as agreements to connect to public sewers, etc)
  • The proposed installation and construction method will be considered
Does Tacit Approval apply?

No. Permission must be obtained under Section 50 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 before new apparatus can be placed in the public highway. We aim to process applications within fifteen days but if you have not heard from the local authority by the fifteenth day, please contact the Highway Authority.

Apply online

If you wish to apply for a Street Works Licence, download a copy of the application for placing apparatus in the highway form here.

Failed Application Redress

Any applicant who is refused a licence can appeal to their local Magistrates' court. 


Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance

Licence Holder Redress

Any licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to their licence can appeal to their local Magistrates' court.

Consumer Complaint

Torfaen County Borough Council would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Citizens Advice will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Please Note - Torfaen County Borough Council (The Council) is under a duty to protect the public funds which it administers and to this end may use the information you provide within Torfaen County Borough Council for the prevention and detection of fraud. The Council may also share this information with other bodies administering or in receipt of public funds solely for these purposes. For further information, visit the National Fraud Initiative area of the website.

Last Modified: 05/12/2018
For more information contact:

Neighbourhood Services

Tel: 01495 762200

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