Apply for temporary structure, road closure or crane licence

You need a licence to put building apparatus or machinery in the road; this includes things like scaffolding, construction fencing, cranes and cherry pickers.

The type of licence you need depends on what you're putting in the road and if you need a road closure.

1. Temporary structure licence

The cost of the licence will vary based on whether you are working on a "major" or "minor" road. Find out the category of the road you want to work on using our road search tool:

Road category look up

You need a temporary structure licence to put certain items on or over a public highway. View more information on temporary structures


    When you return the form you will also need to enclose any relevant planning permission or listed building consent for the proposed works, along with the correct consideration fee.

    2. Cranes and Temporary Traffic Orders (TTO)

    You must apply for a Temporary Traffic Order (TTO) to do the following on the public highway:

    • make a temporary road closure
    • use cranes and platforms
    • use concrete pumping machinery and outriggers

    The council cannot give approval for the oversailing of cranes on private property. You will need approval from private landowners before beginning any works. Any damage caused to private property remains the responsibility of the applicant.

    Apply online

    Apply by post

    As part of the form, you will be asked to complete a signed indemnity form and enclose drawings and details of any traffic management proposals or parking suspension.

    You must also include the correct consideration fee.

    3. What happens next

    We aim to issue temporary structure licences within 12 working days, although a larger site or more complex proposal may take longer. Please take this into account when planning the lead-in time for the installation of the structure on site.

    Crane and platform licences are issued within 10 working days. If the crane or platform is preventing road access and thereby requires a Temporary Traffic Order, the licence will be issued within 8 weeks.

    Temporary Traffic Orders for road closures are issued within 8 weeks.

    4. Renewing a licence

    Licences can be issued for up to 6 months at a time. If you need to work beyond the expiry date of your licence, you must apply for a new one.

    Renewal is not automatic and will depend on the way work has been carried out during any licensed period. To renew your licence, please submit a new application and fee in good time before your current licence expires.

    5. Licence requirements and conditions

    The council is determined that building sites in Westminster should be run considerately. There are a number of acts regulating what can be done on public highways.

    These notes outline our requirements where building works potentially affect the public. They are only a guide to the basic legal requirements that contractors must conform with. For more specific and detailed information including a list of useful numbers, please contact the Highways Licensing Team.

    Licence requirements and conditions

    You will need to meet all the requirements of the application before a licence is issued.

    Once you have obtained your licence, you must adhere strictly to the terms and conditions set out. There is a risk of legal action by the council if the terms and conditions of are not complied with.

    Each licence will be issued with a site notice which must be prominently displayed on the structure at all times. The notice includes the name of the licence holder and the duration of the licence.

    To work beyond the expiration date of your licence, you must make a new application to renew it. Renewal is not automatic and will depend on the way works have been carried out during the period of the original licence.

    Consideration fees

    Payments are in the form of a consideration fee and are non-refundable once an application has been considered.  Please note that consideration fees are VAT exempt.

    Obtaining technical advice

    Below we have set out guidance on requirements and conditions relating to specific types of works or types of structures. If you are uncertain about what you require, please contact the Highways Licensing Team for general telephone advice of your basic legal requirements.

    Following any tender stage, further technical advice can be obtained through meetings with council and police representatives to outline operating constraints and advise on issues such as site security before your scheme is due to start on site.

    Legal requirements

    You should note the following legislation when making an application:

    6. Deposits

    A refundable deposit is sometimes payable on issue of the licence. This deposit is held against potential damage to the public highway caused by any temporary structures or associated building works. A deposit is not needed for a builder's skip.

    The size of deposit depends on:

    • the area of the public highway that the temporary structures will occupy or affect
    • the type of materials which the public highway comprises
    • whether street furniture or road gullies may be damaged or at risk
    • the probability of damage to the public highway, street furniture or road gullies due to the nature of the works
    • the duration of the works

    The licence is legally effective only when the deposit has been paid.

    Applications will not be considered unless you have obtained and attached all appropriate planning permission, listed building and conservation area consents when applying for your licence.

    When you have completed the works and removed any temporary structures, you must inform us so we can inspect the public highway adjacent to the site. Your deposit will be returned if there has been no damage to the public highway, street furniture or surrounding highway gullies.

    If damage has occurred, an appropriate deduction will be made from the deposit to cover the council's costs in repairing the damage. The balance will be refunded.

    Where costs incurred by the council to repair the damage equal or exceed the amount of the deposit, none of the deposit will be refunded and the applicant will be liable for any shortfall.

    You will be given an estimate of the cost of repairing damage and we will use approved contractors to carry out permanent reinstatement of the public highway.

    Where damage has occurred, we require at least one month's notice by the contractor before it will begin reinstatement work.

    We will not undertake any estimates unless a clear site is available; all temporary structures, materials, plant, etc must have been removed.

    Additionally, we reserve the right to defer any reinstatement work while site activities may still damage the public highway.

    Last updated: 9 March 2017
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