Attaching items to street lights

We accept applications from residents, businesses and local organisations wishing to improve the appearance of a local area with hanging baskets and festive lighting, or putting signs up for information. Using street lights avoids the need for extra posts when putting these items up.

This page provides you with the information you need to get a licence to attach an item to a street light. If you do not have a licence from us, we may remove the item.

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Why do I need a street lighting attachment licence?

Legally, you must have a licence to attach items to a street light. We must ensure any street lighting attachments do not pose a risk to the safety of the public, or other highway equipment such as traffic signals.

We have to ensure the street lighting column is strong enough to safely support the attachment, and that the attachment will not affect the lighting equipment.

How do I apply for a street lighting attachment licence?

To apply for an attachment licence please complete our online application form.

Apply for a street light attachment licence

You will need to have the following documentation ready to send to us. We will request these once we receive your application:

  • public liability insurance to a minimum value of £10 million
  • contractor's certificates of competency
  • a location map showing the lamp columns you wish to use
  • a copy of your energy supply agreement (if your attachment requires the use of electricity)

Please read the Code of Practice (PDF) before submitting your application.

How long will it take to process my application?

We process the majority of applications within 28 days, provided that all documents are submitted when requested.

In some cases, it may take up to a maximum of eight weeks to process an application, depending on the size and weight of the proposed attachment.

Our Engineers will carry out any required site and safety checks before we are able to approve your application and send you a licence.

If for any reason the application is declined, we will contact you to explain our reasons.

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

Why we may refuse your application

We may refuse requests because of structural safety or electrical safety.

We will also refuse licence requests for electrical works, if the application does not specify an accredited installer from the Highways Electrical Registration Scheme (HERS).

For further information about why this is required, please see sections 8 (Competency Assessment and Training) and section 9 (Electricity and legal provisions) on our Code of Practice (PDF).

There may be other reasons why we cannot accept requests, such as locations on high-speed roads or other areas that pose particular difficulty.

Applications for new supplies for festive lighting

We do not allow electrical supplies for equipment other than festive lighting attached to street lights.

If a new outlet socket for new festive lighting needs to be fitted to a lamp column, please include the request with your application using our online form before the end of August each year, so that we can assess the site. If the site is deemed suitable, advice regarding a quote will be given on your attachment licence.

We can only accept requests for lamp columns of at least eight metres in height, to allow for enough height clearance.

Due to the amount of time it takes to process these requests, we are unfortunately unable to consider any requests made after the end of August each year.

Your responsibility for energy payment

Surrey Highways are only responsible for electricity used by our own lamp columns and illuminated signs.

You must have suitable arrangements to pay for the electricity used by licensed attachments, and as part of your application, we will need to see written evidence of your supply agreement with the local Distribution Network Operator (DNO).

Removing unlicensed attachments

If you do not have a licence to attach an item to a street light, we may remove the attachment at any time.

For more information and our full policy, please see our removal of unlicensed street light attachments webpage.

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