Highway licences

Including consent and permissions.

On this page you will find

When and what is a licence required for?

A licence is required for placing anything on, in or over the public highway. Nothing should be placed on, in or over the public highway without an agreement from Essex County Council.

Below is a list of items that require a licence.

*Members of the public can only apply for a Licence to Plant or Trees and/or Shrubs.

All other applications need to be submitted by the relevant Parish / Town / Borough / City / District Council.

  • Licence to Plant*
  • Tree and/or Shrubs*
  • Notice Boards
  • Street and flush lights
  • Awnings
  • Cycle Hoops
  • Planters
  • Ornate Village Signs / Monuments / Statues
  • Bollards
  • Benches
  • Christmas Trees
  • Tables and Chairs
  • Bins – Waste / Dog / Gum / Cigarette
  • Air Quality Cabinets
  • Gateways
  • Parklets
  • Flush plaques / Mosaics
  • Oversailing
  • Signs/Signage/ Vehicle activated sign (VAS)/Wayfinder
  • Bus Shelters
  • Stencilling

If you wish to place anything not listed above on, in or over the public highway, please, contact Highway Licences.

Who issues these licences and how long they are valid for?

Essex Highways, on behalf of Essex County Council.

The licence is for life unless anything changes.

The only exceptions are for trees (the licence will be for the lifetime of the tree) and for tables and chairs on the pavement. Tables and chairs licences must be applied for each year via the relevant Borough / City / District Council).

If there are changes to the licenced item then the existing licence will need revoking and a new one issued.

If the licenced item is removed and not being replaced the licence will need to be revoked, please send details to Highway Licences.

What information do you need to give us?

For all licences please contact Highway Licences and application forms will be sent to you.

Please complete the relevant application form.

With all applications, please include:

  • 1. A marked street plan for each location
  • 2. A picture / brochure of the street furniture / tree being licenced
  • 3. Members of the public will be required to provide written support from your Parish / Town Council. If you live in an unparished area please provide written support from your Borough / City / District council
  • 4. Written support from your County Councillor – Find your councillor

On each application form there is a checklist at the bottom, which will confirm what will be required for each licence.

Help with filling in application form

The ‘applicant’ is the person or council who will be holding the licence, and therefore the individual or council who will be responsible for the items for the duration of the licence.


There are no fees currently for licences, but this is under review.

Steps involved in the process

  • 1. Complete all sections of the application form
  • 2. Attach marked plans / photos / brochures and/or any other relevant information requested
  • 3. Submit the application and send it to Highway Licences
  • 4. If further information is required you will be contacted, if not, your application will be processed and a draft licence / consent / permission produced
  • 5. The draft licence will be sent to the Essex County Council legal department and they will send the licence / consent / permission to the applicant
  • 6. Applicant signs licence / consent / permission and returns it to the legal department

How long does it take?

  • It can take up to 10 working days to look at the application, obtain additional information if required and write the draft licence before sending it to the legal team.
  • Once received the legal team can take up to 6 weeks to produce the licence / consent / permission and send to the applicant.

Please note: no works are to be carried out until the signed licence / consent / permission has been returned to the legal team.


Please send all enquiries by email to Highway.licences@essexhighways.org