Section 171 Licence application – Licence to open the highway
It is an offence under Section 51 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 to excavate in the highways without obtaining a licence from the Council. Unauthorised excavation of the highway carries a fine of £1,265.
What to consider when submitting the application:
- The name and address of the landowner requiring the service is to be provided. This may be a private individual, a limited company or a partnership. If a partnership, the names and addresses of those persons in whom the land is vested are to be given. If a company, the registered office is to be given. If the land is vested in joint names, then details of both persons are required.
- Supervisors of street works shall be qualified to the standard prescribed in the Street Works (Qualifications of Supervisors and Operatives) Regulations 1992, and from 5 August 1997 all operatives shall be so qualified. Details are to be entered in Section 4.
- The licensee shall ensure that they or any contractor employed by them shall be aware of the obligations placed on them by various Codes of Practice and Regulations prescribed under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991. In particular, the licensee shall comply with the Specification for the Reinstatement of Openings in Highways.
- The licensee shall ensure that information has been obtained regarding the location of underground apparatus prior to works commencing.
- The licensee shall also comply with the Codes of Practice “Safety at Road and Street Works” and give details of proposed traffic management measures in section 3. If it is considered that a road closure, land closure or footway closure may be required then early advice from the Council should be sought. A period of twelve weeks has to be allowed for road closure application to be processed.
- Several of the borough’s roads are traffic sensitive and therefore restricted working applies. No works must be undertaken before 09.30am and the site must be clear by 4pm. If this is not possible consultation with the council is required for traffic management purposes.
- The licence shall remain in force for the period agreed with the council or terminated by the licensee giving written notice under the provisions of paragraphs 5 and 6 of Schedule 3 to the Act.
- The licence does not dispense the licensee from obtaining any other consent, licence or provision which may be required and it does not authorise installation of apparatus for the use of which the licence of the Secretary of State is required unless and until that licence has been granted.
- If the property is sold the licence may be assigned to the new owner of the property by the original licensee, provided that, six weeks written notice of the transfer is given to the council by the licensee.
- If the application is made by a contractor employed by the owner of the property, which the new apparatus serves, then the licence should be assigned to that property owner upon completion of the work.
The licensee shall ensure that the interim reinstatement conforms to the prescribed standards referred to in Section 4 of these notes for guidance and that the permanent reinstatement conforms to the prescribed standard throughout the guarantee period. The guarantee period conforms to the prescribed standard throughout the guarantee period. The guarantee period shall begin on completion of the permanent reinstatement and run for two years, or for three years in the case of deep openings. A deep opening is one in which the depth of cover over the buried plant or equipment is greater than 1.5 metres.
The licence fee is £631. Should the application be withdrawn a £58 administrative charge will be retained by the council and the balance returned to the applicant.
As the majority of excavations are less than 200 metres in length, the total fee usually applicable will be £631. If the excavation is above 200 metres in length and a second phase of works is required, then a charge of £631 will be made for each additional phase of works.
Inspections and Defect fees
Inspections will be made by or on behalf of the council in accordance with the Code of Practice for Inspections and it is intended that three inspections will be carried out at the following stages:
- Undertaken during the progress of the works.
- Undertaken within six months following interim or permanent reinstatement.
- Undertaken within the three months proceeding the end of the guarantee period.
If any works are found to be defective, as defined in the Specification for the Reinstatement of Openings in Highways then the licensee will be charged for any defect inspections at £120 per 4 week cycle.
If a second phase of works is required due to a defect, then a charge of £316 will be made for each additional defect phase of works.
Section 74 New Roads and Street Works Act
If works overrun the agreed reasonable period and a revised duration estimate has not been registered with this office, charges will be incurred under the above Act.
When submitting the application you need to provide
- Two copies of an A3/A4 size drawing to a 1:250 scare clearly identifying the location of the site are to be provided with the application. If the final position of the excavation differs to that originally shown, an as “built” drawing shall be provided upon completion.
- Under the TMA 2004 strict advance noticing for works must be observed. Once you have received your Street Works Licence you must complete, notify the Council (Notice of Works – to be obtained from Highway Licence Team) in writing to Highway.email@example.com, giving the following advance notice:
Minor Works (works lasting three days or less): Notice must be given three days in advance.
Standard Works (works between 4 and 10 durations): Notice must be received 10 days in advance.
Major Works (works of 11 days duration or more): Notice must be received three months in advance, followed up with a 10 day advance notice.
- The same form must then be used to register your permanent reinstatement in order to set the guarantee period. This must be received by this office within seven days.
- Copies of required NRSWA qualifications for your operatives and supervisor.
- Approval from the relevant Statutory Undertaker to maintain apparatus (if works relation to maintenance).
- Public Liability Insurance with the cover of minimum £5 million pounds.
- Copy of Traffic Management Plan.
Should any of the required information be missing your application will be considered as incomplete and it will not be processed.
If you have any questions please contact Highway Licence Team on 01628 796135 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Fees as of April 2023)