Scaffolding and hoarding licence

Scaffolding and hoarding licence

When carrying out any building work/maintenance or removal of any part of  a property which is adjacent to the public highway (road, pavement or rear lane), the safety of all users of the highway must be paramount. 

This is achieved by providing safe areas at ground level or a platform at high level.

When it is necessary to place hoardings on the highway around the place of work or scaffolding, permission is necessary and can be obtained from the council, on completion of a form together with a sketch.

Once permission has been granted, the conditions attached to the licence must be carefully read and kept to at all times.

The basic requirements of the conditions are as follows:

Hoardings licence

Scaffolding licence

  • During the erection or dismantling period, a safe working area at ground level is required to be provided to prevent pedestrians gaining access - this means that in the town centre, this work is to be carried out outside normal working hours, i.e. after 6pm or before 8am on a Sunday
  • Will require illumination unless no part of it is less than 0.45m (18 inches) from a carriageway in a horizontal direction and no part of it over a footway is less than 2.4m (8 feet) above the footway
  • Pedestrian walkway to be maintained around the scaffold. If this cannot be arranged, it requires to be designed to allow access under and through the scaffold safely - no trip hazards, no projecting tubes or fittings, covered adequately to provide a working platform and prevent materials or debris falling through. Poles to be highlighted. A reasonable free walking width must be maintained to enable persons in wheelchairs/prams, etc, to pass the scaffold safely
  • Scaffolding over the highways application form (pdf, 263KB) (opens new window)

Legislation summary

The council has the necessary powers to issue licences for scaffolding; to require erection of hoardings to separate building works from the street; and to ensure hoardings are securely erected.

Contravention of these is an offence with maximum fines of £5,000 (non-compliance with scaffolding licence), £1,000 plus £2 per day (contravention of Section 172 of the Act) and £200 plus £1 per day (contravention of Section 173 of the Act).

Copies of the Highways Act 1980 can be purchased from Her Majesty's Stationery Office.

Will tacit consent apply?

No. Please contact customer services if you have any queries regarding your application.

Scaffolding licence types

There two types of scaffolding licences:

  • standard freestanding scaffolding 
  • section 169 for load support scaffolding

Standard scaffolding 

How to apply

You can either submit your application and fee online or submit via post or in person to the Highways Asset Management team.

The fees for a scaffolding permit of hoarding/fence consent are:


  • Up to one calendar month: £62
  • Up to two calendar months: £103
  • Up to three calendar months: £154
  • Up to four calendar months: £205
  • Up to five calendar months: £257
  • Up to six calendar months: £308
  • Between six and nine months: £462
  • Between nine and twelve months: £616


  • Up to one calendar month: £113

On receipt of a valid application your permit will be issued.

Apply online

Apply by post

Section 169 licence: load support scaffolding 

If you want to put up scaffolding that’s supporting a load on, or adjacent to, the adopted highway you must apply for a Section 169 licence for Special Scaffolding on the highway. 

This is different to a standard scaffold arrangement which is freestanding. 

The Section 169 licence applies to special scaffolding, tower scaffold or Mweps on the highway.


The fee for the section 169 licence is £324.

Apply for a Section 169 licence

Complete and return the Section 169 licence application form.

You’ll need to include:

  • A set of scaffolding calculations
  • Design/check certificate dated
  • Copies of Public Liability Insurance cover to the minimum value of £5,000,000 per incident for both the applicant and the Scaffolding Contractor

If you don't to supply the Public Liability Insurance the application will be refused.


If you have any issues of a consumer nature please contact the contractor in the first instance.

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Contact information

Highway Asset Management (100TS)

P.O. Box 3176

Bristol, BS3 9FS

Opening Hours


Tel: 0117 922 2100