Section 50 Street Works Licences

On this page you will find

When is a Section 50 Street Works Licence needed?

A Section 50 Street Works Licence application is required when:

  • A person or organisation wishes to place new apparatus under publicly maintained highway, which includes verge, footway and carriageway.

Apparatus as stated under S164 New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, includes any structure for the lodging therein of apparatus or for gaining access to apparatus.

If you are unsure as to whether the proposed location of the apparatus is deemed as public highway, please contact the Highways Records Team at

Section 50 Street Works Licences are issued under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (NRSWA). NRSWA is the primary source of legislation governing street works licences and associated procedures. Attention should be given to the whole of Part III of the Act, not merely Section 50 itself and also Schedule 3 of the Act, which includes consultation requirements under Section 55.

Who issues them and how long are they valid for?

Essex Legal Services, on behalf of Essex County Council and Essex Highways, produce and issue the licence.

Two durations of Section 50 Licences are available, 5 years or 25 years.

  • 5 year licence – can only be issued, if written confirmation is sent in with the application confirming that the apparatus is to be adopted by the relevant utility company (gas, water, electric)
  • 25 year licence – is issued if apparatus is not going to be adopted by utility company. This licence is applied for by the property owner themselves.

What is required?

A site plan in which the land to benefit is clearly outlined, North and the surrounding road names must be clearly labelled. The location of the site must be easily recognisable.

An apparatus plan in which the location of only the apparatus relevant to this application to be installed in the public highway is clearly marked.

Public liability insurance in the applicant’s name with a value of £5 million.

For a 5 year licence:

  • A completed Adoption Agreement for the apparatus from the relevant utility company.
  • If the owner is the same as the applicant, official copies of the Title Register and Title Plan. These cannot have pending requests with HM Land Registry.
  • If the owner is different to the applicant, a letter of instruction from the owner of the land to the applicant stating the works can be completed and the licence can be held by the applicant.

For a 25 year licence:

  • The owner of the land must be the applicant.
  • Official copies of the Title Register and Title Plan. These cannot have pending requests with HM Land Registry.

Application Form explanations

The term ‘applicant’ is the person/company who will be holding the licence, and therefore the person/company who will be responsible for the apparatus for the duration of the licence or until adopted (if applicable).

If the applicant is the owner of the property, proof of ownership of the property is required, by sending official copies from the Land Registry.

If the applicant is the contractor or third party, the ‘Letter of Instruction’ is required from the owner, confirming they are the owner and they consent for the contractor to apply for the licence on their behalf.

  • For a 5 year licence the owner and applicant can be different.
  • For a 25 year licence the owner and applicant must be the same person.


A Section 50 Street Work Licence fee includes a £ legal and highways administration fee plus £ per year of licence, so:

  • a 5 year licence will be £ + £ = £
  • a 25 year licence will be £ + £ = £

The fees will be requested once the application and all required documents have been received. Payments will be requested by BACs.

A road opening fee of £ will be applicable once the Licence has been granted, this fee will be included in the application fee. (See more information about applying for the Section 50 Road Opening Notice below.)

Steps involved

  1. Send in completed application pack.
  2. Confirmation sent to applicant confirming receipt of pack, if further information needed this will be requested via email.
  3. Once all required information and forms have been received the Section 50 team will request payment and proof of payment.
  4. Once proof of payment has been received the Section 50 team will write instructions for the licence to be produced and have the instructions approved. This will take up to 15 days.
  5. The application and instructions are sent to Essex Legal Services to draft the licence and notify the statutory undertakers (Stats) of the proposed apparatus.
  6. Ten working days’ notice given to the Stats to reply.
  7. Draft licence emailed to Section 50 team to approve.
  8. Draft licence emailed to applicant to approve.
  9. Engrossments sent in the post for signing which should be returned to Essex Legal Services.
  10. Licence sealed and a copy will be posted to applicant for their records.
  11. The Road Opening Notice can be sent through to the Section 50 team to raise the permit.

How long does it take?

After all documents have been provided and accepted by the Section 50 team a period of 15 working days is required for the instructions to be written, approved and sent to Essex Legal Services.

A period of up to 12 weeks should be given to allow for a Section 50 Street Works Licence statutory process to be undertaken by Essex Legal Services.

Section 50 Road Opening Notice

Once the Section 50 Licence has been issued and a start dated has been confirmed the Section 50 Road Opening Notice should be applied for. This is to book the road space and programme the works. Please submit your completed Section 50 Road Opening Notice to follow the guidelines stated on the Section 50 Road Opening Notice application form.

If a Road closure is required then you will need to send in a completed Temporary Traffic Regulation Order form and diversion route in addition to the road opening notice.

Where should I send my completed application pack?

Please submit your application using the Submit button in the application form or email through to