Apply for a highways licence or permit

How to apply

Before you enter the highway, you must have either a:

  • road opening permit to connect a foul sewer or replace apparatus
  • licence to plant shrubs, flowers or grass
  • licence to place an overhead projection
  • licence to place and retain private apparatus
  • licence to place an overhead cable
  • licence to place and retain an underground structure

You must apply and pay for your licence or permit in advance:

Licence or permit Notice period Cost
Road opening permit 10 working days £186.51
Licence to plant shrubs, flower or grass One month Free
All other licences One month £346.72

Apply for a highways licence or permit

Approval process

Road opening permit

  1. We will take your payment then assess your request within 10 working days. We will contact you to discuss your works further, if required.
  2. If approved, we will email your permit to you, along with any conditions of work.
  3. Work can only begin when you have received your permit.

All licences

  1. We will take your payment then assess your request within one calendar month. We will contact you to discuss your works further, if required.
  2. If approved, we will post you two copies of your licence. Both must be signed, witnessed and returned to us.
  3. Once we receive your signed copies, we will countersign one and post it back to you. We will also include any conditions of work.
  4. Work can only begin when you have received your countersigned licence.

Refused applications

If we cannot resolve any issues, we will refuse your application and refund your payment.

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions relating to street works licences and road opening permits:

  1. A person or organisation must have a licence or permit to place or retain apparatus in the highway. This includes anything under, over, across, along or upon it. They must also have one to inspect, maintain, adjust, repair, alter or renew existing apparatus.  For more details, read Section 171 of the Highways Act 1980.
  2. Licences/permits do not apply to anyone acting under a statutory right.
  3. A person or organisation with no statutory right may apply for a licence/permit. For more details, read Section 50 of the New Roads And Street Works Act 1991 (NRSWA)
  4. Under the Act, the licencee/permit-holder becomes an 'undertaker'. They must perform all duties imposed by the Act. This includes duties within associated Secondary Legislation and Codes of Practice.
  5. The term 'apparatus' includes cables, ducts, water and gas pipes etc. These may be under, over, across, along or on the street or connecting to an existing sewer.
  6. Applicants not familiar with the legislation should appoint a specialist advisor. They will need the appropriate knowledge to help complete the application.
  7. Accredited professionals must carry out all works under a licence/permit. An accredited supervisor must supervise the work. At least one accredited operative must be on site at all times when works are in progress. The supervisor and operative cannot be the same person.
  8. Any licence/permit is only for use on roads maintained by Lincolnshire County Council.
  9. We will only grant a licence/permit to owners of apparatus or their Successor in Title. Owners have a statutory duty to ensure proper maintenance of their apparatus.
  10. Each street affected by proposed works must have a separate licence/permit application.
  11. Each licence/permit will apply to a specific apparatus, works and location. The terms of the issued licence/permit will detail this.
  12. If it is necessary to complete the proposed work in phases, the application must state this. Failure to do so will result in a need for separate applications for each phase.
  13. All applications must be complete and returned to Lincolnshire County Council.
  14. A fee is chargeable for the issue of the licence/permit. This is payable in advance of proposed works taking place. We will not process any applications without payment.
  15. If applicants do not comply with their statutory duties or conditions of work, they may receive a fine. Liability for this cannot be delegated to another person or organisation.
  16. A person or organisation must apply at least one month before the proposed works start. We may agree a shorter application period if we can meet our statutory duties.
  17. The owner of the existing or proposed apparatus must sign the application. 
  18. We issue a statutory notice to all utilities to request details of their existing apparatus.  They must respond within 10 working days. We will not issue a licence until they do.
  19. A person or organisation must apply for a road opening permit at least 10 working days before the proposed works start. We will check the proposals and availability of space to allow works to take place.
  20. In some cases, the proposed works may need a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO). This is either to close the street or restrict the traffic speed. If required, a person or organisation must apply at least 12 weeks before the proposed works start. This is to allow sufficient time to issue the order.
  21. If the proposed works need temporary traffic lights, these will need a separate application.
  22. We may impose special conditions:
    • in the interest of safety
    • to minimise disruption to users of the street, particularly for people with a disability
    • to protect the structure of the street and the integrity of the apparatus in it
  23. The applicant must allow us to monitor their, or their contractor’s, performance throughout the works. We have three types of inspection, which are undertaken:
    • A - during the progress of the works
    • B - within six months, following interim or permanent reinstatement
    • C - within the three months preceding the end of the guarantee period
  24. The applicant guarantees reinstatement of the excavated area for a minimum of two years. If the excavation is deeper than 1.5 metres, it is three years. This starts from the completion of the permanent reinstatement of the surface. 
  25. Inspections types B and C verify that the reinstatement complies with NRSWA standards.
  26. The applicant must carry out remedial works if the original works do not comply with the NRSWA. We will notify the applicant of the timescale to complete these. 
  27. We may inspect these remedial works at three stages and charge a statutory fee at each stage. These fees are in addition to the original licence/permit fee.
  28. By agreeing to these terms and conditions, the applicant agrees to pay all statutory fees. This includes:
    • any defect inspection fees
    • the cost of any necessary remedial works we conduct during the guarantee period
  29. We grant each licence/permit on the condition that the applicant indemnifies us against certain claims. These are claims in respect of injury, damage or loss arising from:
    • the placing in the street of apparatus to which the licence/permit relates
    • the execution by any person of any works authorised by the licence/permit
  30. The applicant acknowledges that they have read and understood the terms and conditions. They are aware of the conditions in the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, Schedule 3(3) or the Highways Act 1980 Section 171.
  31. The applicant confirms that the information given is correct. They acknowledge that they will conduct the works referred to above in accordance with the requirements of the:
    • New Roads and Street Works Act 1991
    • Highways Act 1980
    • associated Secondary Legislation and Codes of Practice
    • any conditions imposed by the Lincolnshire County Council