Barton House evacuation: information for residents.

What Technical Approval is, how to submit a Technical Approval and guidance for submissions.

You need to get Technical Approval from Bristol City Council for new structures and modifications (including demolition) to existing structures that have potential highway implications.

You need Technical Approval for all structures, whether they're intended to be owned and maintained by Bristol City Council or not.

The Technical Approval process considers the design, construction, assessment, alteration, strengthening and repair of structures.

We conduct Technical Approval to make sure that all structures are safe and durable. In the case of structures proposed for adoption, we also conduct approvals to check that structures will only need minimal maintenance.

The type of structures we approve include:

  • bridges
  • tunnels
  • subways
  • culverts
  • retaining walls
  • reinforced earth structures
  • gantries
  • pipe bridges
  • buried corrugated steel structures
  • temporary structures such as art work and Christmas lights

This is not a full list. If your structure is not listed, contact us to find out if your structure needs Technical Approval. Email

When you need Technical Approval

Technical Approval is needed for all structures within 6 metres of the edge of the adopted highway, and outside of this limit where the failure of any structures would affect the safety of highway users or the integrity of the highway.

Developers or designers should contact us at an early stage in their project, email

The requirement for Technical Approval is different and separate from Planning Approval. The issue of Planning Approval does not therefore imply that Technical Approval has been or will be granted.

Get Technical Approval

There are several stages involved in Technical Approval.

You may arrange a pre-submission meeting to discuss your proposal with us, should you deem it beneficial.

Submissions shall be made in the following stages, in the following order:

  • Approval in Principle (AIP)
  • Design and Check Certificate
  • Construction Compliance Certificate
  • Health and safety file and 'Hand over' records, if structure is being adopted

Read our pdf Technical Approval guidance (232 KB)  for more detail on how to arrange a pre-submission meeting or submit  for Technical Approval.

When you arrange a pre-submission meeting and also when you commence the Technical Approval route by submitting your AIP, you'll need to pay the associated initial fees. These are set out in the guidance notes and will be agreed or revised once we receive your initial AiP submission.

What happens next

We aim to respond to your submissions, within the following timeframes, following receipt of the fees:

Type of structure and target response time
Type of structureTarget response time
Category 0 and lower than Category 0 structures 10 working days
Category 1 and 2 structures 15 working days
Category 3 structures 15 working days


Construction work must not proceed without an approved Design and Check Certificate.

During construction work

We'll carry out any necessary site inspections for Bristol City Council (separate from the contractor's QA inspections) during the construction, whether the structure is to be adopted by us or not.

We'll tell you approximately how many inspections we'll need to make, when the Design and Check Certificates are approved and returned.

We will also need to agree inspection dates with you. There will be extra fees for these inspections.

When the construction work has been completed

Email us a Construction Compliance Certificate.

If Bristol City Council have agreed to adopt the structure, then a Health and Safety File including 'hand over' records as specified in CG 302 of DMRB will be required to close the approval process.

Guidance and links