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You need a licence to place scaffolding on the highway.

To apply, you will need to get in touch with a scaffolding company which holds Traffic Signs Manual, Chapter 8 Signing, Lighting and Guarding cards or certificates and a minimum of £5 million public liability insurance. They will then submit an application to us. Scaffolding and hoardings may only be erected on the public highway by suitably qualified contractors.

We need a minimum of 10 working days’ notice to process the application.

A licence costs £63.60. In an exceptional emergency situation it may be possible to grant a licence with fewer than 10 working days’ notice, at a cost of £116.60. Application costs are exempt from tax.

If you need to place further materials in conjunction with the scaffolding ie; building materials, temporary traffic lights, you will be required to apply for section 171 application.

If you are unsure whether an area of land is private or maintained by Devon County Council, please contact our Customer Service Centre on 0345 155 1004. The advisor will be able to inform you if a licence is required, or if you will need to consult with the land owner before commencing works.  Any application submitted for land not maintained by Devon County Council will be non-refundable, unless cancelled within our 1-hour cancellation policy (see below).

Information for contractors

  • The safety of all pedestrians and road users must be the first priority when working adjacent to the road, pavement or any part of the highway.
  • Your application should state exactly how long your scaffolding will be needed for.
  • Licences can be valid for a maximum of 12 weeks; for longer periods you will need to apply for an extension at an additional cost of £47.70. This must be done while the current licence is still valid.
  • In some instances, the Neighbourhood Highway Officer may have to carry out a site visit. A further charge of £79.50 will be applied if a site visit takes place.
  • You need Traffic Signs Manual, Chapter 8 Signing, Lighting and Guarding cards or certificates and a minimum of £5 million public liability insurance. You need to provide evidence of this if requested.
  • You will need to provide a site location diagram which gives the information we need. Please check this guidance which gives examples of what is and what is not acceptable. For more help, check this guidance on how to create a site location plan.
  • It is technically an offence under section 169 part 5 of the Highways Act  to place scaffolding/hoarding before the due date.


To apply for a scaffold licence read the licence conditions, then fill in an application form and return it to  Our application form has recently been updated, we will be unable to process any applications received on a previous version of the form.

If you are applying for your first licence, or you haven’t submitted a licence application for 12 months, please sign the licence conditions and return them to

A licence will only cover a sole structure.  A single licence cannot be issued for both scaffolding and hoarding.  For example; if you need to erect two separate scaffolds at the same location, two licences will be required, one for each structure.  If you need scaffolding and hoarding, you will need a licence for the scaffold and a separate licence for the hoarding.


We require full payment before we can process the application. Our 10 working days’ notice commences upon receipt of both payment and application form. Any applications submitted without the correct payment will be left unprocessed until the fee has been received.

Amendments, cancellations and refunds

If an application or licence needs amending, for example, if the dimensions or dates have changed, you will need to notify us on 01392 382900 or We can only accept amendments from the contractor who has applied for the licence.

If you need to cancel a licence, please contact us on 01392 382900 or, quoting the licence number and/or the location of the work. Please note that you will only be refunded your licence fee if you cancel the application within 1 working hour of submission. After this period, you will be charged the full fee. We can only accept cancellations from the contractor who has applied for the licence.

Office opening hours

Monday – Thursday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Friday: 9:00am – 4.30pm

Please note that there is limited office cover between the hours of 12pm-2pm.
Bank holidays – closed.
Christmas period – The office closes at 12pm on Christmas Eve and reopens on the first working day after New Year.

Applications for Plymouth and Torbay

We do not issue licences for Plymouth and Torbay. If you are due to commence work in these areas, you will need to apply for a licence from the relevant council.

Plymouth City Council

Torbay Council