Apply for a scaffolding, hoarding or crane licence



In order to regulate placing a scaffold or hoarding on the highway, or for building materials, you are required to obtain a licence. This is in accordance with the Highways Act 1980.

It is an offence to place scaffolding, hoarding or other materials on the highway without permission - breaking the law could result in confiscation of the materials and court action against both the hirer or owners of the materials and the people who delivered them.

A highway can include roads, pavements and verges.

A licence will only be granted in exceptional circumstances relating to building materials where there is nowhere else to keep the materials.

A visit/inspection will be carried out by staff and a deposit will be required. 

Application form Click to get info

Download the Highway Licence form (168KB) for activities under sections 139,169,171,172 and 173 of the Highways Act, 1980.

  • Complete and return an application form with the appropriate fee
  • Once approved, the permit will be returned to you with a permit number
  • Order your materials and quote the permit number to the company delivering the materials
  • Ensure that by the date the permit expires you have either had the materials removed or renewed/extended the permit. (see application form for details)
  • Please allow at least five working days between the date of the receipt of your application by the council, and the date on which the activity is intended to commence

Skips Click to get info

If you wish to place a skip on any part of the public highway, you must apply to us for a skip permit. 

Waltham Forest operates with a skip licence being the responsibility of a registered Skip Operator to place a skip on the highway. Members of the public can hire skips from skip hiring companies, which are registered with Waltham Forest Council. For more information and to view our list of approved registered skip companies, please visit our skip licence information page.

Building materials Click to get info

A licence is required for placing building materials on the Public Highway. Licences are only issued in exceptional circumstances for a period of up to 14 days. Applications to extend a licence must be made before the current license expires.

(Highways Act 1980, Sections 139,169,171,172 and 173)

 Eligibility criteria

  • The applicant must have public liability insurance to a minimum of £5 million
  • The applicant must be qualified under The New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 to erect signing and guarding on the highway


Lamps must be provided to ensure that the materials are lit during the hours of darkness.

Application evaluation process

The following criteria must be considered when the application is being evaluated:

  • Is it possible to undertake the works in a different manner that would cause less obstruction of the highway?
  • Is it possible to store building materials on private land?
  • Would the scaffold, hoarding or building materials be blocking visibility at a junction?
  • Is the highway surface adequately protected?
  • Are any highway drains or utility access chambers obstructed?
  • Is the site adequately guarded?
  • Is the site adequately signed by NRSWA qualified personnel?
  • Has the applicant got a minimum of £5 million public liability insurance?
  • Has at least five working days notice been given from receipt of application?

Once approved the licence will be returned with conditions attached to you with the licence number.

Will tacit consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that Waltham Forest Council must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within 5 working days contact on 020 8496 3000


Please contact us and ask for the highway network team in the first instance for matters concerning:

  • Licence holder redress
  • Failed application redress
  • Other redress -(including other complaints relating to another aspect of the operation such as noise, pollution or public health

From 1st April 2019

Licence   Duration    Fee
Crane licence 5 days £500
Scaffolding 30 days £500
Materials licence 14 days £90
Hoarding licence 30 days £500
Container licence 30 days £800
Compound licence 30 days £800

Contact Click to get info

Highways Team
Waltham Forest Council
Low Hall Argall Avenue
London E10 7AS
Phone:  020 8496 3000