Apply for a Section 50 licence

Apply for a Section 50 licence

Introduction notes for applicants

This information is for anyone who wishes to apply for a Section 50 Licence under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (NRSWA).

If you or your organisation wish to place, retain and afterwards inspect, maintain, adjust, repair, alter or renew apparatus in the highway then you must obtain a licence from Newcastle City Council. 

The term apparatus includes drains, cables, ducts, sewer pipes, water and gas pipes etc. both under, over, across, along and upon the highway.

Those applicants not familiar with the requirements of this legislation are strongly advised to appoint a Contractor with the appropriate knowledge and accreditation to help complete the application and conduct the works on their behalf.

If you require permission to work in the highway but do not intend to place or retain any apparatus you will require a Road Opening Notice.

The Highway Act 1980 and the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (NRSWA) provide the legislative framework for work being undertaken in the highway and the co-ordination of street works activities.

As the Highway Authority, it is essential that Newcastle City Council has an accurate record of all works undertaken on our highway and without this accuracy the Council cannot fulfil its Network Management Duty under the Traffic Management Act (TMA).

The person granted a licence becomes an undertaker for the purposes of the New Roads and Street Works Act (NRSWA) and therefore has duties and responsibilities imposed by the act and associated secondary legislation and Codes of Practice.

It is important that whoever is applying for a licence is familiar with this element of the legislation and understands the implications should they fail to comply with this. Your liability cannot be delegated so it is vital that you understand this entire process and adhere to the requirements and conditions.

Please note the Terms and Conditions are in the application along with Guidance for applicants.


How to apply

The application, submission and payment process for a Section 50 licence is entirely online. You will need to provide the following information in order to submit your application: 

  • Completed online application

  • Plan showing clearly the limits of your works

  • Details and copies of documentation clearly identifying that your operatives hold the relevant qualifications to work on the highway

  • Insurance must have current fully comprehensive public liability of £10,000,000 and employer insurance £10,000,000 for each and every Sc50 licence applied for

  • Waste Transfer details

  • Responses from utility companies showing clearly the limits of any apparatus that may impact on your work along with a completed declaration form

  • Full payment

For the Street Authority to comply with its statutory duty, all applications must be submitted a minimum of one month in advance of your intended start date.  However, if your works are on a traffic sensitive street or require a road closure, we will require three months advance notification. 

There may be times when your works are not able to adhere to the advance notifications, in which case you will need to discuss an early start request. If you feel this may be applicable, then please contact


Section 50 Application form



Payment for your licence is required on submission of your application

Please be aware that your proposed dates may not be feasible due to conflicting works on the network. If there are any conflicts, the permit team will be in touch to discuss alternative dates. Additionally, if you would like to discuss your proposed dates prior to submitting your application, you can contact

The cost of your licence may vary depending on the factors noted below:

The cost of a new Section 50 licence is £531.50 (Admin fee of £141.50, capitalised fee of £140 and inspection fee of £250)

 The cost of a works to an existing Section 50 licence is £313.50 (Admin fee of £113.50 and inspection fee of £200)

 A further charge of £72.50 is payable for each additional 200m length of road and / or each additional road identified.

 For example:

  • If your excavation is on 1 street within 200m this is 1 licence = £531.50

  • If your excavation is continuous across 2 different streets however still within 200m this is 1 licence however an additional payment of £72.50 is required

  • If your excavation is on 1 street but exceeds 200m this is still 1 licence however an additional payment of £72.50 is required for every additional 200m

  • If your excavation is continuous across both streets and both streets exceed 200m then this is an additional £72.50 for every additional 200m

  • If you have 2 different excavations on 2 different streets both within 200m this is 2 licences

If you need to make any changes to your licence after it has been approved, a charge of £15 will be applicable.  You can pay for this amendment here


What happens after I submit my application?

After submitting your application, the Permit Team will begin to review your application. 

If your application is successful, you will receive a copy of your approved licence in an email from 

If we need to discuss any element of your application or require further information, we will contact you directly. 


Once I have received my licence

Your approved licence must be displayed on site at all times.

If you need to extend the dates, or amend the details of your licence, you must contact the Permit Team ( All requests must be submitted prior to the existing licence expiring. If your licence has already expired, you will need to submit a new application.

It is the applicant's responsibility to submit works start and stop notifications. If you do not do this, we will assume your works did not go ahead and your licence will be cancelled.

Further Information

Public Register

The highway authority maintain an electronic register of all Section 50 licences they have issued. If you wish to view these details, please email your request to


Legislative documents

The documents noted below will be a valuable source of further information which will explain further details:

  • New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, for the Co-ordination of Street Works and Works for Road Purposes and Related Matters 
  • New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, for the Code of Practice for Inspections

Need more information?

Please contact should you have any queries.

Phone: 0191 211 6403

Address: Newcastle City Council, Place Directorate, Transport, Unit 6 Wincomblee Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 3PF

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