Find out about licences for various construction works on public roads and highways, including putting up scaffolding, hoardings and portacabins, storing building materials and breaking through the road or pavement.

We issue licences for various construction works on public roads and highways, including:

  • putting up scaffolding, hoarding, fencing or gantry
  • carrying out work within, excavating, or breaking through the road and pavement
  • storing of building materials
  • putting up portable cabins and containers
  • creating temporary crossings (use of existing council's pavement crossing)

Sections in this guide (click title to view)

1. Hoardings licences

Under the current legislation (Highways Act 1980, section 172), Transport for London (TfL) are not required to issue and control hoarding licences. However, as TfL have a vested interest in the condition of the Transport for London Road Network (TLRN) and in accordance with section 169 of the Highways Act 1980, they have the authority to recommend the issuing of licences for any structure that obstructs the highway.

Consultation with TfL is also required where applications are made adjacent to the TLRN so that they can ascertain the condition of the network prior to works commencing.

This means that for all hoarding applications to be designated on a TLRN (or Red Route) road, we have to consult with TfL who have the authority to refuse any application, and where accepted, determine the deposit fee payable by the applicant directly to the organisation.

The applicant is still required to pay the application fee to the local authority who will issue the licence.

2. Applying for a highways licence

Individuals are no longer able to apply for highway licences. This is in order to streamline the application process and make the enforcement of licences more effective.

All applications must now be made by the principal/building contractor. A copy of the company's public liability insurance must be sent with the application.

Be aware that the notice period for applying for licences is 14 working days. Where an item (container, builders materials) is being placed in a parking bay, if the appropriate bay suspensions have not been applied for, this may delay the processing of an application. Please see our bay suspension application form.

To apply for a licence you will need to complete an application form (see below) and pay the appropriate fee for the length of time the licence is required (licences last for a minimum of three months at a time - there is no pro-rata fee).

Please complete the relevant form and return it to us at:

Highways Licensing

PO Box 734


SO23 5DG

3. Section 50 NRSWA licences

Any person or organisation who wishes to carry out work within, excavate, or break through the existing existing public highway (road and pavement) will need to apply for a Section 50 NRSWA licence using this form under Section 50 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (NRSWA), prior to the work taking place. Guidance notes

Please read the following guidance notes:

  • The person granted the streetworks licence becomes an undertaker for the purposes of NRSWA, and therefore attracts the relevant duties and responsibilities imposed by the Act and associated Secondary Legislation and Codes of Practice.
  • Contractors must hold valid NRSWA accreditation. Contractors or other individuals without the appropriate NRSWA knowledge and accreditation will not be allowed to work within the public highway.
  • Financial penalties may arise to the licence holders for non-compliance with the relevant statutory duties or licence conditions, and applicants must note that this liability cannot be delegated to any other person or organisation.
  • The requirement to obtain the licence applies to any person or organisation (other than anyone acting under a statutory right) who wishes to place, retain and thereafter inspect, maintain, adjust, repair, alter, or renew apparatus or change its position or remove it from the highway. The term "apparatus" includes drains, cables, ducts, sewer pipes, water and gas pipes etc both under, over, across, along, or upon the public highway.
  • The application must be submitted at least 10 working days prior to commencement of the proposed work, together with traffic management plans if works are to be carried out on the carriageway. Please note that should any works require a Temporary Traffic Order (e.g. Road Closure), or if works are due to last longer than 11 working days, then 3 months notice must be provided.

The above guidance is not exhaustive of all the requirements of the licence. If you require further information or guidance please contact us here:

Streetworks Team
Traffic and Highways
PO Box 734


SO23 5DG

Telephone: 020 7926 0305

5. Application fees for highways licences

Fees can be paid by cheque, postal order, and credit / debit card. If you intend to post or fax your application and pay by either debit / credit card you will find a credit / debit card form at the bottom of the main application form please send via post or scan and email the documentation to

Alternatively all cheques should be payable to 'London Borough of Lambeth'. These can also be sent via the post or submitted in person. The full address is:

Highways Licensing
Environmental Services
PO Box 734


SO23 5DG

Section 50 NRSWA licence application forms can only be paid by by cheque or postal order.

These fees are subject to an annual increase.

Type of licence New licence Renewal or extension fee
Hoarding, scaffolding, fence £576.00 £384.00
Container, portable cabin £576.00 £384.00
Crossover (temporary) £576.00 £384.00
Gantry or vault bridge £576.00 £384.00
Storage of building materials £576.00 £384.00
Section 50 NRSWA licence application form £336.00 £108.00

6. Granting the licence and deposit fees

On receipt of your completed application form, our Highways Engineer will inspect the site in order to agree to the granting of the relevant licence(s) and decide if a deposit fee is required and the amount of that fee.

Both the licence and deposit fees must be paid before a licence can be granted.

The deposit fee is refundable provided there is no damage to the carriageway or footway during the time of working at the site.

Applicants are therefore advised to take note of the condition(s) of the carriage / footway before the commencement of any work at the site. If there is already damage at the site, you may find it helpful to send copies of photographs of this damage to our office.

Refund of deposit fee

The council's Highways Engineer is empowered to withhold part or all of the deposit fee or request additional payment for damages caused to the carriage / footway during works at the site.

On completion of your work at the site, please write immediately to request the refund of the deposit fee paid on the licence granted, quoting the relevant licence number and location of works. If you have paid by cheque please submit the company BACS details (Bank Name and Address, Sort code and Account Number) in order for the payment to be made into your bank account.