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Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Highways License Application


Occupation or Excavation of the highway requires a License or Permit to do so. License applications in this section include:

Under the Highways Act 1980;

  • Scaffold
  • Hoard
  • Crane (and other lifting appliance)
  • Cart over (temporary access / egress to site)
  • Excavation
  • Temporary deposit of materials (placing items on the highway other than vehicles)

under New Roads and Street Works Act 1991;

  • s50 Streetworks Licenses

While we try to give advice on the application process, in order to ensure safe operation of your work on the highway is it expected that you or your contractor are knowledgeable of construction and street works in order to control the risks to road users. If you are unsure it is recommended that you seek external professional advice before applying. General guidance to set the scene is available here:


All permit applications are subject to an upfront non-refundable administration fee of £75.00. Please call cashiers on 0121 303 5535 and complete this payment by credit/debit card quoting “permit application fee” as well as the site address and your company name. PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT the permit fee which will be requested on completion of the application.

The payment reference number must be quoted on the application form.

Please note that Section 50 permits cannot be completed online. Please fill in the PDF form attached and send to:

Highways Permits
Birmingham City Council
P.O Box 37
1 Lancaster Circus
B4 7DQ

Essential Information
  • 1 - Risk Assessment

    2 - Method Statement/Safe System of Work

    3 - Traffic Management Plan

    4 - Insurance Certificate

    5 - Accreditation

  • Under CDM regulations 2015 the principal contractor must be responsible for the application. Their agent e.g. 'the scaffold company' can submit and manage that application but the principal contractor is responsible for the operation of the project.

    For example, a roofer is the principal contractor for a roofing contract, their scaffold company must submit their risk assessment etc. to the roofer who then applies to complete the whole contract. The scaffold company may advise or act as an agent so long as the roofer has authorised them to do so. Remember it is the works being assessed as well as the means of access.

    In this example we may get two risk assessments, one for setting up the scaffold and one for constructing the roof. The method statement might show the both processes as a whole.

  • Highway Emergencies:

    For emergencies that endanger the highway and its users (such as unstable buildings, structures or trees) please contact 0121 303 6644.

    Private Safety Issues:

    If your works are to prevent an urgent safety issue on private property, evidence of the safety issue must be submitted with your application and clearly specified and as much supporting information as is readily available. We will consider the quality of the information submitted and decide whether to allow works to proceed on an urgent basis. You must specify that this is an urgent safety issue rather than simply an urgent business need. While we will try and expedite these applications, Birmingham City Council and its Service Providers cannot be held responsible for private owner/occupier issues. In all cases other solutions must be discounted. A fee will be payable in most cases.

    Standard Applications:

    While it is in everyone’s interest for an expedient turnaround we try and work on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis. If your application is to a high standard and causes minimal disruption on the highway it may be completed quicker where time and resource allows. Typically those sites on lower risk roads with lower risk works may be processed quicker.

  • Guidance on road closures and other traffic management is available at www.birmingham.gov.uk/highwaystrafficmanagement.

    Basic Guidance on Traffic Management in General is contained in “What documents do I need to supply and why?” above.

  • For excavations such as trial holes where the highway will be reinstated to its original condition you will require an excavation License.

    Where you propose to leave underground apparatus such as cables, pipes or associated equipment you will need to apply under s50 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991. You may also need additional permission from the Utility you are connecting the service to such as Severn Trent Water or National Grid. By entering into this agreement you are liable to all charges as if you were a statutory undertaker. For example overstaying your allotted time on the Highway can make you liable to 10’s of thousands of pounds of penalties. You are advise if you are uncertain to engage a specialist with experience of managing these License applications.