Last updated:

11th June 2024

Section 50 Licence

Licence required for changes under publicly maintained roads

Under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (NRSWA) you need a Section 50 licence to place new apparatus under publicly maintained highway, such as private networks including fibre optic cables, sewer, gas, water, electric or telecommunications connections. You must ensure all planning conditions are met as a Section 50 licence does not overrule any planning constraints.

All applications must be submitted in accordance with the notice periods set out in the New Roads and Streetworks Act (1991) Code of Practice. If you plan to close or restrict a road, you also need to apply for a temporary traffic regulation order or restriction notice. You need to apply at least 12 weeks before the proposed start date of the works. It is an offence, under Section 50 of the New Roads and Streetworks Act 1991, to excavate the highway before the permitted date.

If you are connecting to an underground apparatus, please make sure you have the required permissions.

If your works are related to Section 278, 38 or Minor Works Agreement, this needs to be stated in the works description along with the associate Wokingham Borough Council Officer and reference number. Likewise, if the Licence is required for a new build, please provide the Building Regulations Notice and Full Planning Reference number.

If anything changes during your works, it is your responsibility to keep us informed. This is particularly important if your works are likely to overrun the scheduled end date.


The cost of a Section 50 licence is £563.

Payment will be requested once road space is confirmed.

Payment is made via our online weblink or an invoice can be issued on request.

How to apply

You can apply online for a Section 50 licence. Before you apply you should read our terms and guidance [PDF document]. During the application process you will need to provide:

  • Traffic Management Plan
  • Google Maps Image highlighting works location
  • Copy of a valid public liability insurance certificate for a minimum of £10 million
  • Colour copies of the Supervisors and Operatives SWQR card, front and back
  • Signed Thames Water consent letter (this is required for sewer connection works)

Apply for a Section 50 licence

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