​You must get permission from us before excavating (digging a hole in) a public highway.

Apply for a highway excavation licence

It is an offence, under the Highways Act 1980 (Section 171), to dig a hole in a public highway without our permission.​

Terms and conditions

The following terms and conditions should be followed for small excavations such as building of walls at the back of the footway

  1. The person undertaking the works on the Highway must be accredited under ‘The New Road & Street Works Act 1991’ All excavations must be signed and properly guarded.
  2. You must carry out a “Cat and Genny” scan of the area to be excavated to establish the position of any statutory undertaker’s apparatus.
  3. Care must be taken to avoid damage to statutory undertakers apparatus; the named person on the licence will be responsible for all costs in connection with repairs to damaged apparatus.
  4. Footway, carriageways and verges must be reinstated to specification.
  5. The footway and carriageway must be swept and kept clean and free from obstruction at all times.
  6. On completion you must inform us.
  7. The excavation and any materials must have barriers/cones for the duration of the works, and must be lit during the hours of darkness.
  8. You must indemnify us against any personal injury claims or damage to property. You must produce Public Liability Insurance for £10 million.
  9. You must comply with any instruction issued to you by the licensing authority. If any conditions are contravened the licensing authority may prosecute the applicant.
  10. To claim deposits back you must write to the licensing authority on completion of works. Deductions from deposits will be made if you delay in informing the authority in writing that work has been completed. Deposits must be reclaimed within one year of completion. Deposits will not be returned after the expiry of one year.
  11. The cost of any damage to the highway caused by building works will be taken from the deposit, or charged to you if a greater amount.


A charge of £250 will be made to consider an application. This charge covers administration, site meeting, considering application, banking and weekly inspection fee.

A deposit will be required (to be determined at initial site visit) which is refundable if no damage or extra inspections are required. Inspection fees are charged at £25 per occasion.

On completion of works an inspection will be made of the site. If damage has occurred to the footway or carriageway as a result of the works an estimate will be sent to the contractor and the full amount shall be deducted from the deposit or charged if greater, including any additional costs for administration.

All deposits must be reclaimed within one year of completion. Deposits will not be returned after this date.