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Occupation of the road in connection with building work licence

Information about licences for scaffolding, hoardings and depositing building material on the highway can be found on this page.

Under the Highways Act 1980 (sections 169, 171, 172 and 173) you will need a licence from us for the following activities taking place in the county: 

  • Erection of scaffolding or other temporary structures on or over a highway. (It is the responsibility of the person erecting the scaffolding to obtain the licence.)
  • Secure erection of hoardings as legally required when building or demolition work takes place adjacent to the highway. (It is the responsibility of the builder carrying out the work to obtain the licence.)
  • Storage of building materials such as bricks, wood, bags of sand or cement or block paving or any other building materials on either the footpath, verge or carriageway.

Failure to obtain a licence may result in a criminal offence for obstruction of the highway.

Eligibility criteria

You must hold public liability insurance of £5 million to apply for a scaffolding or hoarding permit.

You must also comply with any reasonable requests of statutory undertakers relating to the protection of or access to their apparatus.

You must be the person erecting the scaffolding/hoarding to obtain the licence.

Application evaluation process

A site meeting may be required to determine any site specific requirements. Specific conditions may be attached to the permit which you need to comply with. These conditions will relate to:

  • Location
  • Dimensions
  • Lighting
  • Guarding

Download our Icon for pdf scaffolding terms and conditions (PDF, 256.9kb)  to see what rules apply to all applications for scaffolding permits.

Applicable fees


The cost of a permit for scaffolding is £33.70 per week of part thereof for first 20 metres of scaffold (or other structure) plus £33.70 per week for each additional 20 metres or part thereof.

The cost of a retrospective licence is a £255.00 one off charge on top of original cost of permit.

Materials permit

The cost of a licence to store or place building materials on the highway for a period of 14 days is £33.70

The cost of a licence to place building materials on the highway for period extending past 14 days, after 14 days a fee per week or part thereof - £25.20

The cost of a retrospective licence is a £67.80 one off charge on top of original cost of permit.

The charge for the removal of building materials from the Highway (Highways Act 1980 Section 139) is £174.40.

Will tacit consent apply?

Tacit consent does not apply to this licence. It is in the public interest for us to process your application before it can be granted. We aim to issue licences within three working days.

Apply online

Refusal of an Application

Please contact our Business Support office in the first instance. Contact us using the details on this page.

Refusal of a Licence

Please contact our Business Support office in the first instance. Contact us using the details on this page.

Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint, the first contact is made with the scaffolding or building company by you - preferably in the form of a letter with proof of delivery. If that has not worked and you are located in the UK, Citizens Advice Consumer Service will give you advice.

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In partnership with

  • EUGO
Contact us
Business Support Services
03000 269195
Our address is:
  • Regeneration and Local Services
  • Durham County Council
  • County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UQ
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