Scaffolding licence

Our highways licensing guidance and terms and conditions have been updated. The revised terms and conditions will apply to all new licence applications submitted after 1 January 2019. 

If you wish to place scaffolding on any part of the highway (public road) in Hammersmith & Fulham, you must apply to us for a licence.

To ensure compliance with licence conditions, we only accept applications from scaffolding companies. Building contractors and residents cannot apply.

You can only apply for your scaffolding licence online. Please allow five working days for your application or renewal application to be processed.

The minimum period for a scaffold licence is one month. You should always apply for a licence for the full duration of time that you will require the scaffolding to be on the highway. If you need it beyond this time, you will need to renew (extend) your licence at least 5 working days before the original licence expires. You will also need to renew any parking suspensions at least 5 working days before the date required.

Renewal of a licence is not automatic and depends on several factors including other planned works in the area, planned events in the borough and compliance with the original licence. Failure to meet the terms and conditions of your licence may result with it being revoked or a renewal licence application being refused. 

If your licence is revoked you must immediately remove your scaffolding from the highway.

You do not need a licence or consent to place scaffolding on private land, however you may need parking suspensions to enable you to park while you unload/load to construct/deconstruct the scaffolding. 

You may also need to temporarily close the footway to safely erect and dismantle the structure, if so you will need to deploy a banksman and provide the relevant traffic management and arrange a traffic order if applicable. 

You may need to attend a joint site meeting to discuss the position of the scaffolding and the construction/deconstruction methods before your licence is granted. 

If you need any advice please email the licensing and enforcement officer at highways_licensing2@lbhf.gov.uk or call us on 020 8753 4807 or 020 8753 3447.

How much does it cost?

The cost of a scaffolding licence depends whether the scaffolding is to be used for residential (home) or commercial (shop, office or premises used for business use) purposes. There is no maximum fee applicable to this licence. A deposit is also payable at the time of the application.

Residential use fees

Scaffolding licence residential fees
Length of scaffolding Cost for first month Cost per extra month
Up to 10m £231.30 £129.50
Between 10m and 15m £296.60 £193.60
Over 15m £618.60 £257.90

Commercial use fees

Scaffolding licence commercial fees
Length Cost for first month Cost per extra month
Up to 15m £296.60 £193.60
Over 15m £618.60 £257.90

Once the licence has expired and site cleared an inspection will be carried out of the site. The deposit is refundable if the outcome of this inspection shows the highway to be in a satisfactory state and there has been a resolution to all outstanding fines. You will also be required to pay a minimum deposit of £750 to cover any damage that your activities cause to the highway and fines relating to the licence that are payable to the council. 

Any deposit refunds must be claimed within six months of the end or revocation date of a valid licence. In order to start the process for a refund please contact the council on the details provided above.

Fees are paid for at the same time as the application using a credit or debit card.

Fees are non-refundable unless we decide a site is unsuitable for scaffolding and no alternative location can be agreed on.

Parking suspensions

You must have a valid parking suspension in place before you occupy a parking bay whilst scaffolding is erected. It is an offence to occupy a parking bay which is not suspended for this purpose.

Please apply online for your parking suspension before your licence application at parking suspensions.  You will need your parking bay suspension reference number for your licence application.

For lift and load operations, additional parking bay suspensions may be required and may be booked as required. 

Apply online via My Account

Apply online via My Account

The link above will take you to My Account where you need to create an account. We moved to a new My Account on the 17 April and were unable to migrate accounts from the old system so previous account holders will need to re-register. Sorry about this, we realise it is inconvenient but it is a simple process and you can then proceed to apply for a highways licence.

As part of the application the applicant for a licence must complete the declaration confirming that public liability insurance is in place at the time of the application, that public liability insurance will be in place for the duration of the highway licence period and provide evidence of their public liability insurance to a minimum value of £5 million as part of the application process. 

Display your scaffolding licence

You must display a laminated copy of your current licence on the scaffolding where it stands on the highway at all times. Your licence must be visible to anyone using the public highway. If you don’t, you may get a fixed penalty notice (fine).

Your licence will be issued as an email with your company name, scaffolding address, licence number and validity dates. If you have not received this before you are due to erect your structure contact a member of the licensing team on the numbers provided above.

You must not place anything on our highway until you have received your licence.

Conditions of use

The licensee [the scaffold company] is entirely responsible for the scaffolding for the full duration of the time it is on the highway including the construction and deconstruction of the structure. The licensee must adhere to the terms and conditions set out below.

Failure to adhere to these terms and conditions may lead to enforcement action including fixed penalty notices (fines) or prosecution. If any of the requirements of this licence are not complied with, measures may be taken to mark, guard, light or remove the scaffolding structure and to clean or repair the highway. The licensee will be liable for all the costs incurred. The council operates a zero-tolerance policy for all safety issues. The council understands that regular inspections must be carried out by the applicant of its site and recommends that photographic records are kept of these inspections. The date and time of any such photographs are to be kept on record.

Inspectors routinely check all structures on the highway to ensure they are legitimately licensed and meet all the terms and conditions of the licence and are promptly removed after their expiry date. 

When your scaffolding licence expires, you are required to remove your licensed highway item. A reminder email is sent to all licence holders advising that a licence is about to expire. Where a licence is required to continue, it is the licensee’s responsibility to renew it before its expiry date. If a licensee fails to do this, then an application must be made for a new licence with a charge of the initial application fee for the first month, to reflect that this is a new licence.

When you apply for your highway licence, you must ensure that you provide your trading address or a project office address where official correspondence can be sent and read by licensees. Your trading address or project office address may be different from your work site address, so please ensure that you provide the correct address for us to contact you. Failure to provide the correct contact address may result in your licence application to be refused or an existing licence revoked.

You must include a responsible manager’s contact phone number for both landline and mobile number, plus an email address.

If there is a change in the person responsible as named on the licence, then the council’s highway licencing team must be advised of the replacement person’s name, contact phone numbers and email address.

Expired highway licences must be removed from site and replaced with a current licence as appropriate. It is confusing for the public and council inspectors if several licences, current and expired, are all displayed at the same time at the same location. Parking suspensions must be renewed where applicable.

Highway licenses are not transferable between existing and replacement contractors. When a new contractor takes over responsibility for a temporary item or structure on the public highway, a new licence application must be made by this replacement contractor.

Any planned excavations in the highway must be approved by this council before digging works commence.  A separate licence is required to authorise any such excavation of the highway so please contact the licensing team for further information on how to obtain the appropriate licence. Undertaking an excavation without the appropriate licence may lead to a prosecution. 

If the public highway is damaged either by any licensed items placed upon it or the actions of any contractors working for the licensee, the costs incurred by the council to carry out repairs are to be paid by the licensee. 

This would include any repair costs or officer time fees in excess of any damage deposit required as part of a licence application. 

Further to any planning consultation agreement, it is the licensee’s responsibility to consult local residents, businesses and other stakeholders where highway licensed items may impact on them. The council’s licensing team may advise on the specific local area to be consulted.

All relevant planning consents must be agreed with the appropriate council departments before an application for a highway licence is made.

Terms and conditions

1. The licensee shall not leave the scaffold on the public highway unlicensed.

2. Any activity associated with the licence must not violate the terms of the agreed planning consent.  Any violation may lead to the revocation of the licence.

3. A laminated copy of the licence (or subsequent renewal) must be displayed on the scaffolding securely, located at a height so it can be easily and safely read by the public whilst the scaffolding is in situ.

4. The scaffold company name and contact details must be clearly displayed on the structure securely, located at a height so they can be easily and safely read by an inspector or the public whilst the scaffolding is in situ.

5. You must display your scaffolding tag to demonstrate the scaffolding is being regularly inspected by the company responsible for maintaining it (licensee).

6. If the erection of the scaffolding structure is incomplete, a sign must be attached to the scaffolding structure confirming this status and this sign must be clearly visible to the public.

7. All traffic and pedestrian management is to be set up in accordance with the Safety at Street Works and Road Works Code of Practice unless otherwise directed by a condition of the licence.

8. The licensee shall ensure safe access for pedestrians is maintained at all times.  This is to include a footway minimum clear width of 1.2 metres, except for scaffolding structures on footways with a high footfall where a minimum 1.5 metre footway clear width is required.  Please contact the council’s licensing team if you need advice.

9. The scaffolding must be erected a minimum of 450mm from the edge of the footway kerb.  If you are unable to achieve this, please contact a member of the licensing team to discuss.

10. The licensee shall ensure existing road signs or lights are not obstructed or rendered less effective by the construction of the scaffold.

11. Tools or equipment are not to be left on the public highway whilst the scaffolding is being erected or dismantled.

12. The public footway must not be obstructed with ladders left unattended. 

13. A banksman must be deployed to ensure any vulnerable pedestrians are not at risk during the construction and destruction of the scaffold.

14. The erection and removal of the scaffolding shall take place between the licence start and end dates.

15. Scaffold poles must be covered with yellow padded sleeving.

16. Scaffold poles must be covered in red & white tape or black & yellow tape for high visibility.

17. Cross poles must not be placed on the footway between ground level and first lift level.

18. The first level must be closed with double boards and all levels are to have kick/toe boards.

19. The upper levels shall have netting attached at all times to prevent any debris from falling onto the public highway.

20. Loose building materials are not to be stored on lift decking or upper scaffolding levels.

21. A clear headroom of a minimum of 2.6 meters shall be provided above the highway where a scaffolding or gantry is situated for pedestrians to walk through safely.

22. Pole base plates (metal or plastic only, not wood) must be in place to protect the footway. 

23. Scaffold boards are not to be placed underneath poles or base plates.

24. Poles, boards or associated fittings are not to be stored on the highway during erecting and dismantling the scaffold.

25. Exposed bolts must have protective caps covering them at all times.  Any horizontal poles must have protective end caps fitted to them also.

26. The scaffold shall be lit during the hours of darkness using bulk head lights (60-watt minimum) attached to the poles at 3-meter spacing.  White bulk head lights are to be in place at the back of the footway with red bulk head lights facing the carriageway.

27. If a scaffold structure includes any form of hoarding or fencing panels, these must be approved by the council before a licence is issued.  The hoarding licence terms and conditions then apply in addition to these scaffolding terms and conditions.  Please contact a member of the licencing team.

28. The scaffold company name and contact details must be clearly displayed on the structure at all times from the first day of construction.

29. The licensee shall remove or reposition the scaffold if required by the police, fire service, the council, or any of the statutory undertakers should they need to urgently access their apparatus.

30. All ladders or climbing aids should be removed and locked away each evening to prevent unauthorised persons from climbing the scaffold.

31. The licensee shall keep the gantry (if applicable), footway and roadside around the scaffold free from rubbish, materials, or any obstructions.

32. The scaffold must remain in use by the licensee only, new contractors will need to make a new licence application to take over the scaffolding.

33. The scaffolding shall not be used for advertising purposes without consent in writing (planning permission) form the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham planning team.  Please ensure all planning permissions are in place before you apply for your scaffold licence.

34. The scaffold shall be erected, used and dismantled in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines and compliance with the relevant safety legislation including the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and BS EN 12811-1:2003, the codes of practice for areas and working scaffolds and special scaffold structures in steel. There MUST be compliance with the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) conditions and guidance notes and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

35. The licensee shall ensure all personnel working with the scaffold are competent and qualified and take all the relevant and necessary safety precautions.

36. The licensee shall undertake the erection of the scaffold in off peak hours i.e. early morning, at night or weekends. This is very important where the location is within a town centre, a busy pedestrian area or on a traffic sensitive road. On residential streets the times may be negotiated. In all cases, the times of erecting the scaffold must be agreed in advance with the council.

37. When a temporary footway closure is required as part of the licence or for erecting and dismantling the scaffold, a pedestrian and traffic management plan shall be agreed in writing in advance with the licensing enforcement officer to safely divert pedestrians and /or traffic.

38. If required the licensee is responsible for providing a pedestrian and traffic management plan to include the signing and guarding of the site, in accordance with the Safety at Street Works and Road Works Code of Practice.

39. The licensee is responsible for the suspension of parking bays if required for the construction/deconstruction and for providing all banksmen, signage, barriers, ramps etc. as agreed in the traffic management plan. These items must be checked and secured in the correct position each morning prior to commencing work.

40. The licensee must comply with any reasonable direction or instruction given by the council.

41. The signatory of the application is the person accepting responsibility for the compliance of all conditions and regulations associated with placing scaffolding on the highway.

Scaffold towers
42. Where any part of a scaffold tower is placed on the public footway or carriageway, a scaffolding licence is required.

43. A banksman must be deployed next to a scaffold tower to assist vulnerable pedestrians to walk past it safely at all times.

44. A scaffold tower must not be left unattended.

45. The requirements for lighting, netting, tags and high-visibility tapes are not
necessary as the banksman is there to protect the public whilst the scaffold tower stands on the public highway.

46. Where a scaffold tower requires diagonal pole supports, safety barriers should be placed around these supports to prevent pedestrians walking into them. Please contact the licensing team for advice.

47. A scaffold tower licence includes the requirement to maintain a clear, protected and unobstructed footway minimum 1.2 metres width, 1.5meters in areas of high foot fall.    

48. A scaffold tower will only be approved for works during daylight hours.  Scaffold towers must be removed from the public highway at the end of daylight hours.

49. Where a scaffold tower is used to facilitate masonry, window or painting works, protective must should be laid each side of the scaffold tower to protect the public footway from any damage.  Safety barriers should be placed around the area covered by these sheets to prevent the public walking on these. 

50. Traffic cones and tapes cannot be used as temporary barriers.

51. The erection or dismantling of scaffold towers must be completed outside the period of busy traffic and pedestrian flows, avoiding rush hours. Start and end working times should be agreed with the council before it issues a scaffold licence.

52. All other terms and conditions relevant to temporary scaffolding structures are also applicable to scaffold towers. Any variation from these requirements should be agreed with this council before

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