Section 50 street works licence

Apply for a Section 50 street works licence.

1 Overview

West Sussex County Council will only accept S50 applications from the contractor (company conducting the works) acting on behalf of the owner of apparatus. If this is not yourself, please refer this to your contractor to respond on your behalf.

The requirement to obtain a street works licence applies to any person or organisation (other than anyone acting under a statutory right) who wishes to place, retain and thereafter inspect, maintain, adjust, repair or renew apparatus, or change its position or remove it from the highway.

The documents below will help you understand the requirements of a street works licence application. Please read the ‘Important notes’ document carefully.

If you have any queries about this application, please contact the streetworks team, quoting your application reference:

Supporting documents

2 Choose a contractor

It is important that you select a contractor who is fully conversant with the requirements of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 to assist you in completing the necessary forms.

For contractors who continually disregard these rules, steps will be taken to prohibit them from working within West Sussex.

You need to be aware that the noticing rules changed for working on the highway in April 2008. You need to be familiar with the changes as affected by the Traffic Management Act 2004. There are significant financial penalties for failure to abide by them.

Authority to open the highway will be granted pursuant to Section 50 and Schedule 3 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991.

3 Application process

You need to let us know when you wish to start an application - the earlier the better.

In order to apply for a licence, applicants must email highwayslicensing@westsussex.gov.uk with the information below to then receive a S50 application pack.

To begin with, you need to provide:

  • the full address details of your company
  • the full address details of the property that is benefitting from the new apparatus
  • either a Section 106 letter from the utility granting permission to connect, or a Section 104 letter confirming the utility will adopt the new foul water connection
  • a full works description and confirmation of adoption by the relevant utility in the form of letter or email if the works are not for a new water connection.

We will then send you a link to the 'Full S50 form' and your unique reference number. When you have successfully filled in the form and returned it to us, we then send the information to West Sussex County Council's (WSCC's) Legal team and then generate an invoice. You will receive a draft copy of the licence from our legal department to sign and return to them. The legal department will then sign the licence and issue you with the final copy, signed by both parties.

WSCC Streetworks team will be advised by WSCC's legal team that the licence has been signed by both parties and has been issued.

WSCC will send you the 'Part N' with advice of the earliest possible start date to undertake the work. This needs to be completed with the dates you wish to undertake the work. Please be aware that if a road closure is required to complete these works, WSCC require a minimum of eight weeks’ notice.

This will be reviewed and co-ordinated by the WSCC Streetworks team.

Once the dates for the works have been agreed by WSCC, you will receive a letter of consent to excavate the highway in accordance with the requested dates. Any excavation undertaken before the letter of consent is received is considered to be an illegal excavation and you will be liable for prosecution.

Important note: All correspondence relating to Section 50s must be sent to highwayslicensing@westsussex.gov.uk. Any correspondence sent to individual members of the Streetworks team's personal email addresses will not be actioned, deleted and deemed as not received. WSCC will not be responsible for any fines or charges you may receive for failure to comply with the above.

Last updated:
3 February 2022
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  • West Sussex County Council will only use this email address to respond to any issues raised.