How to apply for a scaffolding or hoarding licence and how much it will cost.
You can no longer apply online on the GOV.UK website for scaffolding or hoarding licences.
This is because of a change in central government procedures.
You can apply using our application forms below
Hoarding is a temporary solid structure of solid construction, put up around the perimeter of construction sites to shield them from view and prevent unauthorised access.
To put scaffolding or hoardings on, or next to, a highway you must:
- apply for a scaffolding or hoarding licence
- have public liability insurance cover with a £5 million indemnity limit
You must apply for a licence at least three working days before you want to put up scaffolding or hoarding.
Cost of a scaffolding or hoarding licence
The costs for each scaffolding or hoarding licence depends on how long the scaffolding or hoarding will be up:
- Up to one calendar month: £71
- Up to two calendar months: £118
- Up to three calendar months: £175
- Up to four calendar months: £234
- Up to five calendar months: £291
- Up to six calendar months: £352
- Between six and nine months: £526
- Between nine and twelve months: £701
If you apply for a scaffolding licence less than three working days before you want to put up the scaffolding, you'll have to pay £81 for up to one calendar month. This is known as emergency scaffolding.
If you put up scaffolding without a licence, you have to pay £129 for every month you didn't have the licence.
If you want to put up hoarding, you'll also need to pay £71 for a site inspection.
What happens when you apply
Processing times for licences depend on the type of the licence:
- Scaffolding licence: 3 to 10 days
- Hoarding licences: 3 to 21 days
We'll return your permit to you by email.
Your application and tacit consent
Tacit consent doesn't apply for this licence. You must wait until you receive your licence from us.
You must apply for a licence at least three working days before you want to put up the hoarding.
Before you start work you must email photos of the highway surface at the hoarding site to BSS.HighwayLicences@bristol.gov.uk
For any hoarding or fencing you must also email a sketch of the hoarding or fencing to BSS.HighwayLicences@bristol.gov.uk
This sketch must include footway and carriageway widths and details of any highway features which may be affected such as road markings, junctions and traffic lights.
The hoarding must be:
- a minimum of 2.5 metres high and able to withstand high winds
- illuminated if street lighting is not enough
- smooth with no parts sticking out
The hoarding must also have pedestrian walkways of 1.2 metres which must be maintained and regularly inspected by the appropriate contractor.
Apply for and renew a hoarding licence
Complete and return the pdf hoarding licence application form (249 KB) .
Safe working area at ground level
The scaffolding must have a safe working area at ground level when it's being put up or taken down. This is to prevent pedestrians gaining access.
In the city centre this work must be carried during these times:
- Monday to Saturday: before 7am and after 6pm
- Sunday: before 8am and after 5pm
The scaffolding should be illuminated unless no part of it is:
- less than 0.45 metres (18 inches) from a carriageway in a horizontal direction
- over a footway and less than 2.4m (8 feet) above the footway
You must maintain a pedestrian walkway around the scaffold. If this can't be arranged, you must make sure pedestrians can go under the scaffold safely with no:
- trip hazards
- projecting tubes or fittings
- risk of objects or debris falling through
The scaffold must:
- be highlighted
- have a walkway for people to walk over
- be wide enough for people with wheelchairs or prams to walk through safely
Apply for and renew a scaffolding licence
There are two types of scaffolding licences:
- standard freestanding scaffolding
- load support scaffolding
Complete and return the pdf scaffolding licence application form (226 KB)
Load support scaffolding
If you want to put up load supporting scaffolding you must apply for a Section 169 Special Scaffolding licence.
The Section 169 licence applies to special scaffolding, tower scaffold or mobile elevating work platforms (MEWP) on the highway.
A Section 169 Special Scaffolding licence costs £369.
This is a one of cost.
Apply for a Section 169 licence
Complete and return the document Section 169 licence application form (21 KB) .
You'll need to include:
- a set of scaffolding calculations
- copies of Public Liability insurance cover to the minimum value of £5 million per incident for both the applicant and the scaffolding contractor
- a dated design or check certificate