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Attaching items to street lights

Street Lighting columns provide an effective method of enhancing the appearance of a local area, by avoiding the need for extra posts when attaching road signs to street lighting columns or by utilising them to support the local community in celebrating their area through the use of hanging baskets and festive lighting.

If you would like to attach an item to a street light such as a hanging basket or festive lighting on a temporary basis, you will need to gain a licence from the County Council. If you do not have a licence to attach an item to a street light the County Council reserves the right to remove the attachment at any time, see the removal of unlicensed attachments policy (PDF).

Why do I need a street lighting temporary attachment licence?

Surrey County Council Highways are required to ensure any attachments to street lighting equipment do not pose any risk to the safety of highway users or highway equipment such as traffic signals.

Our contractor, Skanska, carries the liability on street lighting columns. As a result they will also have to ensure the column is structurally capable of supporting the attachment as well as ensuring that the attachment will not adversely affect the lighting equipment in any way.

Some items such as hanging baskets can weigh in excess of 25kg when watered.  When one or two of these are attached to a street lighting column, they can cause the column to bend if it is not able to hold the weight or the attachment could fall down into the footway or road if not correctly attached.  By completing the licence application, the County Council and Skanska can satisfy themselves that the columns can hold the proposed attachments and that they will be installed by a competent person thereby reducing the risk to the travelling public.

How do I apply for a street lighting temporary attachment licence?

To apply for a temporary attachment licence please complete both the application form A (PDF) and form B (PDF). Please also provide the relevant documentation to support your request. This will include evidence of public liability insurance to a minimum value of £5 million. You may need to ask the contractor carrying out the attachment works to assist you when completing these forms. Please include your contractor’s certificates of competency and contact details when completing Form A.

Note that a licence will only be granted after a contractor's competency to undertake the relevant work on the highway is checked. A licence will not be issued without relevant and valid documentation (certification).     

  • Please use the Code of Practice (PDF) at the bottom of the page where necessary.
  • Please be aware that it can take up to a maximum of eight weeks for an application for weight-bearing attachments to be processed and approved depending on the size and weight of the proposed attachment. However, the normal turnaround time is under two weeks provided that all documents are submitted with the application.   
  • Please send the completed forms and documents to Surrey County Council Highways at the address below for them to consider their approval. By post: Surrey County Council Highways, Hazel House, Merrow Lane, Guildford, Surrey, GU4 7BQ or email: highways@surreycc.gov.uk.

Once Surrey County Council Highways has approved the application they will pass it to Skanska to undertake any required site checks. When both Surrey County Council Highways and Skanska have given their approval, a Street Lighting Temporary Attachment Licence will be issued by Surrey County Council and sent to you.

If for any reason the application is declined you will be contacted and informed of the reason for the application being declined.

What can be attached to a street light?

The following are examples of items that can be temporarily attached to streetlights:

  • Hanging baskets
  • Banners
  • Festive lighting
  • Event signing

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Temporary electrical supplies from street lights

Electrical supplies for equipment other then festive lighting attached to street lights will not be permitted.

Should there be a need for the provision of a new outlet socket for new Festive lighting to be fitted to a lamp column, any request must be made before the end of August each year to allow sufficient time for us to complete a site assessment. Once an assessment is made, we also need to provide a quotation, receive payment and undertake installation of the specialist equipment. Requests made after the end of August each year will not be able to be considered. Please note that we reserve the right to refuse requests on the grounds of structural and/or electrical safety or other reasons including locations on high-speed roads or in other areas that pose particular difficulty.

Lamp columns below eight metres in height are not be able to have an outlet socket fitted due to a lack of height clearance.

Energy Consumption

The County Council is not responsible for any electricity consumed by items attached to street lights except for illuminated Highway signs.  As a result, anyone attaching festive lighting is required to ensure they have suitable arrangements to pay for the electricity consumed by the attachments whilst installed.  Please note this has always been the case

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