Scaffold, Hoarding, Structures or other Items on the Public Highway

The use of Scaffolds, hoardings and related structures must not be placed on the public highway without being licenced by Southend-on-Sea City Council.

Permission is not required where the structure is placed wholly on private land, however, a licence is required where there is any projections over the public highway, at any height.

The Council uses its powers to regulate the safe and efficient use of the public highway.

A Highway is defined as either;

  • footway, verge and carriageway maintained at public expense
  • the surface layers of any area considered to be a public right of way (including un-adopted streets) but not any areas of private land or private road that do not form a right of way

A public right of way is determined as any roadway or footpath that is not maintained at public expense, is not designated as Private and - under common law - is defined as follows;

“A highway is a way over which all members of the public have the right to pass and re-pass. Their use of the way must be as of right, not on sufferance or by licence”.

A private road is considered to be one signed as such or one that is closed to public by means of barrier or gate (or possibly simply by the presence of a barrier or gate). The proof of a highway being classed as private lies with the landowner.

The definitive record of Highways Maintained at Public expense is held by the Council, and is published online

A temporary structure licence is required to place some materials on or over the Public Highway. These include:

  • scaffolding
  • hoarding
  • building material
  • crane/crane over sail

A contractor wishing to carry out activities on the highway must have current Public Liability Insurance of at least £10,000,000.

Should a structure permitted under a licence cause a nuisance or danger to other road users, or an emergency situation arise, the Council will engage with the licencee, and identify possible solutions to the issue.

Where the licencee fails to comply with any raised issue or the terms of the licence, the Council reserves the rights to reposition or remove a scaffold or hoarding and seek to recover any costs incurred from the licencee.

The council also reserves the rights to amend the conditions of a licence or revoke a licence.

Following a breach of the Terms and Conditions, the Council may issue a Fixed Penalty Notice, an FPN could be issued for:

  • placing a scaffold or hoarding without a licence
  • a failure to comply with any Terms and Conditions
  • a failure to remove or reposition a scaffold or hoarding when requested to do so by a person authorised by the Council, or a police officer.

For serious breaches, the Council may seek to prosecute the applicant.

Fees and charges will be based on:

  • skip bag (covered by a materials/plant licence)
  • building materials and plant (both those bought direct from builders’ merchants and materials / items ordered or used by contractors)
    Note that any sand, soil, gravel or other loose material has to be bagged or contained. Failing to do this can result in the responsible person being billed for clearing any drains affected
  • containers and welfare units
  • skips
  • scaffolds
  • hoardings
  • cranes or mobile elevated work platforms

The Council will only consider applications from those who demonstrate:

  • they retain all relevant operating licences
  • valid Public Liability Insurance, of a value not less than £10,000,000 for any single claim
  • there is no evidence of repeated or serious breaches of the Terms and Conditions within the past 12 months.

Applications are submitted online via our Highways permit page.

An application must be submitted at least 28 days in advance, unless in an emergency.

For the full details on the licence terms and application process, please read the full Scaffold, Hoarding, Structures or other Items on the Public Highway Policy which is available to download.

Contact parking, travel and roads

Telephone: 01702 215003

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