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Street Works Licence (Section 50)

Anyone other than a statutory undertaker who needs to excavate or place or maintain equipment or pipe work / cables within the highway must be in possession of a section 50 streetworks licence.

The need to obtain a Street Works Licence applies to any person or organisation (other than anyone acting under a statutory right) who wishes to place, retain and thereafter inspect, maintain, adjust, repair, alter or renew apparatus, or change its position or remove it from the highway. This does not negate the need to obtain any necessary permission of any other person affected, such as highway frontagers.

Eligibility Criteria

The applicant or contractor must have public liability insurance to a minimum of £5,000,000.

The applicant must use a suitable contractor or be suitably qualified under The New Roads And Street Works Act 1991 to work in the highway.

Regulation Summary

Please refer to The New Roads And Street Works Act 1991, Section 50.

Street Works Licence

The right to excavate the highway can be extended to any private individual, developer or contractor on application to the Highway Authority for a Street Works Licence, which grants temporary authority to excavate the highway during the duration of those works.

Failure to apply for a licence before starting any works, is an offence under the Highways Act 1980 and the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991. Any breach of this requirement may result in prosecution with the full recovery of all costs involved and removal of any equipment installed during those works.

All Street Works Licences granted are subject to the legislation requirements of the New Roads and Street Works 1991 and its associate Codes of Practice.

Application Evaluation Process

The following criteria must be considered when the application is being evaluated.

  • Does the applicant or contractor have at least £5,000,000 public liability insurance.
  • Is the proposed works on highway land.
  • Has the form been signed by the applicant.
  • Are suitably qualified personnel being used to carry out the works.
  • A site meeting is required to check the traffic management required to do the works (this is done after the application has been received)


How Much Does it Cost?

Please see the Street Works Register Fees for further information.

Road Opening Licence or a Section 50 Licence

Please note that a Street Works licence is otherwise known as a road opening licence or a Section 50 licence.

Public Liability Insurance

Please note that applicants must obtain Public Liability insurance to the value of £5 million.

Statutory Undertakers

Utilities such as electric, water and telecommunications are known as Statutory Undertakers because they have a "statutory right" by central government to excavate in any public highway under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991.

Planning Permission

Before submitting your application, please consult with the Council's Planning department to establish whether or not planning permission is required for the work.

How do I raise concerns about the quality of work or any incidents?

Please contact us using the details at the bottom of the page.

How do I apply for a licence?

Please contact us using the details below.

Street Works Register

You can access Dudley Council's Street Works Register online. By searching on a street name you will be able to see what works are planned, or have been carried out in that street.

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

No. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us.

Your Rights of Appeal

Any person aggrieved by a decision of the local authority may appeal to the Magistrates Court and the Courts may give such direction as it thinks proper.

Licence Holder Redress

Any licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition attached to their licence can appeal to the Council using the contact details below.

Making a complaint

If you feel we have failed to provide you with good service or are concerned about the progress of your application, please contact us and we will endeavour to resolve any concerns you may have. We also have a formal complaints procedure.

Trade Associations

Where can I get further information?

For further information please contact us using the details below.

Fee Information

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