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Section 50

Do you need help with your Section 50 licence applications?

We can obtain a Section 50 streetworks licence on your behalf…

At Cornerstone Projects, we offer a service where we complete, submit, and monitor/chase the progress of Section 50 notice applications for highways works with the relevant Local Authority (LA).

This saves you the valuable time taken to locate and complete the relevant forms and ensure that the LA issues approval when required; as we also carry out the utility search it also avoids having to co-ordinate more than one company to complete the application.

It is particularly useful if many applications for different sites are needed – we can complete the application with the minimum input from yourselves, and ensure your build programme is met.

Our fee for this is £150.00 + VAT + disbursements from the council – we will confirm the cost with you by email before proceeding.


Section 50 Frequently Asked Questions


What is a Section 50 Licence?

Under the New Roads and Street Works Act Section 50, licences are needed in order to lay new or maintain existing apparatus in the public highway.

Any contractors who want to carry out roadwork excavations in the highway must apply for and be granted a Section 50 licence before work starts. The ‘highway’ includes carriageway, footway and verge. Carrying out such work without a licence is an offence and may result in prosecution.

Section 50 Licences are issued for such works as sewer connections, private water supplies, trial holes and boundary wall foundations etc.

Can anyone apply for a Section 50 licence?

Any company or individual who wants to install and/or maintain apparatus in the public highway needs a Section 50 licence, issued by the local council before they can carry out the work.

Does it apply to private land?

Section 50 licences are not required for works on private land, however, you may need a “build over agreement” if your works are over or near an existing sewer.

What do you need to kick this off?

For us to process your application you would need to provide us with the site location and details of the intended works (what, when, how, for how long?).

You would also need to provide copies of the Streetworks Accreditation cards for the operative/s and supervisor at the site and your Public Liability Insurance certificate.

We ask you to complete a simple form which will help you to capture all the information we need in order to proceed with the application on your behalf.

How does charging work?

We charge a flat fee of £150.00+VAT for each Section 50 licence we apply for. The councils have their own fees for processing the application and issuing the licence – these range significantly from council to council (in our experience so far, fees have ranged from £191.00 (Blackpool Council) to £1,230.00 (Buckinghamshire Council).

We would pay the fee to the council on your behalf, and invoice you for this amount (plus our fee) once the licence has been issued.

What do you get as an output?

As soon as we receive the licence from the council, we will forward it to you (either by email, post, or both). In most cases, the councils also require some follow-up documentation to be submitted.

These are the SWL2 (advance notice of works), SWL3 (works commencement) and SWL4 (Works stop/registration) forms.

We will partly complete these on your behalf and forward them to you, along with your licence, for you to complete (with dates of works and reinstatement details) and forward to the council to comply with the terms of the Section 50 licence.

How long does it take to obtain a Section 50 licence?

It depends on the council involved. Most councils require 1 month’s notice before works commence, however some can process the licences within 10 working days.

We would be able to advise you on these timescales when you place your order/enquiry with us.

What happens if my work changes/is delayed?

We would liaise with the council on your behalf and facilitate the amendments that need to be made on the licence.

What do I need to do when my work has finished?

As mentioned earlier, once your works are completed you are required to provide details to the council, via the SWL4 form.

You would need to complete the form we will have sent you when your licence was issued and forward it to the council to register your works.

Do people come out to site?

This depends on the nature and extent of your works, and on the council involved. We would help you to make the necessary arrangement for site visits between your site representative and council officials.

Have you got any tips?

If you’re looking for more tips on getting a Section 50 licence, we’ve got just the thing. We’ve compiled a list of 10 helpful tips to improve your process.