Apply for a Section 171 licence for minor private works on or near the highway

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Do you require a section 171 licence?

You need this licence to book space on the road or pavement when you wish to carry out minor works such as tree works on private property, installation of private street furniture and building and re-building boundary walls on or near the highway.

If you wish to carry out trial holes coring, this should be done via a Road opening (Section 50) licence instead.

If you require temporary traffic lights or a road closure to carry out the works safely, these must be applied for separately.

If you are a contractor carrying out works on behalf of Surrey County Council, you do not need a section 171 licence. Please submit a permit application to the Streetworks team directly instead, and mention in your application that you are working on our behalf.

Please email us at: if you are unsure whether you require a section 171 licence or not.

How do you apply for a licence?

To apply for an attachment licence please complete our online application form and pay the fee.

You must apply at least 10 working days before the date on which you wish to carry out the works.

Apply for a section 171 licence

What documentation is required?

After you have submitted the application form you will need to email the following documents to us at with your reference number in the subject heading:

  • a copy of your contractors Public Liability Insurance of £10 million
  • location plan or a map of the location
  • site specific traffic management plans
  • front and back of the New Roads and Streetworks Act 1991 accreditation, operative and supervisor
  • a copy of your contractor's risk assessment and method statement (RAMS)
  • excavation plan (if applicable) with dimensions clearly identified in meters (length, width and depth)

Important: We process applications within five days. However, your application will be delayed and possibly rejected if you do not pay the appropriate amount of the fee and submit all of the required documents.

How much does the licence cost?

The cost of the licence is £157.

In some cases, extra charges may apply if:

  • any other additional traffic management is required (such as a road closure or temporary traffic lights)
  • a bus stop suspension is required

What are the terms and conditions?

  • The Applicant must have Public Liability Insurance to work on the public highway. The cover value of this should be a minimum of £10,000,000 per incident, with an unlimited number of incidents and shall be liable for and shall indemnify the Council against any claim in respect of injury, damage, loss or third party claims arising in connection with the deposit or excavation.
  • The Applicant shall permit the Council to inspect the operations at all times.
  • It is the responsibility of the licensee to ensure that residents in the immediate vicinity have continuous access to their premises.
  • Alternative and safe passage for pedestrians must be provided by the Licensee and maintained at all times.
  • During the operations, the Applicant shall take all steps to ensure that the safety and well-being of the public is not jeopardised and shall comply with all requests made by the Council in this respect.
  • The signing and guarding of the Works shall be in strict compliance as contained in the Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 8 (Traffic Safety Measures and Signs for Road Works and Temporary Situations).
  • The work site shall be clearly signed with the Applicants or Contractors' name and telephone number or address including an out of hours emergency contact number.
  • The works area requires proper fencing of deposits or excavations.
  • During the hours of darkness, in poor daytime visibility and bad weather, yellow lamps must be placed to indicate the area of the site.
  • The deposit of flammable, explosive, putrescible, noxious or offensive matter is not permitted.
  • Materials must remain within the specified area at all times as per plan provided. Any spillage should be cleaned as soon as it has been identified.
  • The Applicant is advised that the Council may, if it thinks fit and reasonable to do so, terminate this consent without notice. At such a time, all operations and plant shall be dismantled and removed from the highway without delay. If the Council has to do this, all costs associated with it will be recoverable from the Licensee.
  • The obstruction or excavation shouldn't remain in the street any longer than is absolutely necessary.
  • The site must be fully cleared on expiry of the licence.
  • The licensee will be responsible for the cost of making good any damage caused to surface covers, underground services, pipes or similar items, where a qualified Highways Inspector (or other representative from the Council) deems that a defect has been caused as a result of the work.
  • The Highway Authority will recover any costs in the event of any damage to the highway.
  • The Licensee has the right to appeal to the magistrates court against conditions.

What if you have any queries, concerns or complaints?

If you have queries or concerns, please contact us online or by telephone.

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