Northumberland County Council > Business > Licences and permits > Scaffolding & hoarding licence

Scaffolding & hoarding licence

also known as: Hoarding.

Use this page to find out about Scaffolding and Hoarding on the Highway

Licence - scaffolding and hoarding

When it is necessary to place scaffolding or hoardings on the highway around a place of work, permission is required. This can be obtained from the County Council, on completion of a form together with a sketch. You can download a Scaffolding Licence Application by clicking here. This application can be submitted using the email address at the bottom of this page. Once permission has been granted, the conditions attached to the licence must be carefully read and adhered to at all times.

The basic requirements of the conditions are as follows:


  • To be a minimum of 2.5m high and to be able to withstand high winds.
  • Illumination may be required if street lighting is not adequate.
  • Must have a smooth finish with no protruding parts.
  • Pedestrian walkways of satisfactory width are to be maintained or provided and regularly inspected by the Contractor. Scaffold Image 


  • During the erection or dismantling period, a safe working area at ground level is to be provided to prevent pedestrians gaining access. This means that in the Town Centre, this work is to be carried out outside of normal working hours, i.e. after 18:00pm or before 08.00am on a Sunday.
  • Will require illumination unless no part of it is less than 0.45m (18 inches) from a carriageway in a horizontal direction and no part of it over a footway is less than 2.4m (8 feet) above the footway.


  • A pedestrian walkway is to be maintained around the scaffold. If this cannot be arranged, it requires to be designed to allow access under and through the scaffold safely - no trip hazards, no projecting tubes or fittings, covered adequately to provide a working platform and prevent materials or debris falling through.


  • Poles to be highlighted. A reasonable free walking width must be maintained to enable persons in wheelchairs/prams, etc, to pass the scaffold safely.

Terms and Conditions:

The Council has the necessary powers to issue licences for scaffolding; to require erection of hoardings to separate building works from the street; and to ensure hoardings are securely erected. Contravention of these conditions is an offence under The Highways Act 1980 with maximum fines of:

  • £5,000 (non-compliance with scaffolding licence)
  • £1,000 plus £2 per day (contravention of Section 172 of the Act)  
  • £200 plus £1 per day (contravention of Section 173 of the Act).

Copies of the Highways Act 1980 can be purchased from Her Majesty's Stationery Office.

A copy of the Highways Act 1980 can also be inspected at the Council Offices.

Further Information

If you require any further information then please email us using the following email address

Or by contacting us by calling us  0345 600 6400 or click here for local telephone numbers

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