Somerset County Council

Apply to put objects on highway land


We review requests to place objects on the highway which will require a licence. These licences are also referred to as highway projection. These requests are received from District and Parish Councils, commercial organisations and members of the public and relate to, for example, notice boards, bus shelters, street cafés.

You can apply for permission to place an object on highway land by using the Apply now button below or by sending us your completed application form which can be found in the Information and resources section.

Apply now 

When you contact us please provide the following information:

  • Your name, address, phone number and email
  • A site location plan 
  • Details of the object to be placed on the highway 

You must have permission from us before items are placed on the highway so that they do not cause an obstruction or interfere with visibility or verge maintenance. 

These items include:

  • Tables and chairs placed on the pavement outside a café, restaurant or bar

  • Seating and benches

  • Notice boards

  • Plants and shrubs
  • Bus shelters (providing they are at a bus stop)

We will inspect the proposed site to check it is safe and will not cause an obstruction. We will then ask our colleagues in Legal Services to start the formal notice procedure and draw up an appropriate licence.

You can also change a permit to place tables and chairs on the pavement or road. 

We will acknowledge your request within 10 working days and we will tell you the outcome within 10 weeks.

Please note that the target period only begins when we receive a fully completed application.

Public register
We are not required to keep a register of licensed obstructions on the highway, therefore this information is not available.

Introduction of New Charging Structure for Highway Licences 
Due to the need to make financial savings we have unfortunately had to introduce full cost charging to all parties that apply for licences to erect structures on the highway (for example, planters, notice boards, shelters). Until now, we have not charged for the time it takes us to administer such highway licences, but going forward the charges will apply to all such requests.  

The decision was agreed in response to the Medium Term Financial Plan 2013/14 to 2015/16 and was included in the report to cabinet on 6 February 2013. This was also agreed at the full council meeting on the 20 February 2013. 

Everyone who applies for one of these highway licences must pay a £165 administration fee. We do not bear the costs of the legal fees. Applicants must to provide an undertaking to our legal team to reimburse the legal costs associated with issuing the licence (these undertakings are usually around £350). Therefore the total cost of requesting such highways licences will be around £515.


Contact: Road Records and Licensing
Address: Somerset County Council, County Hall, Taunton, TA1 4DY
Phone: 0300 123 2224
Customer Contact Opening Hours: Monday 8am to 6pm, Tuesday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm, Saturday and Sunday closed.
Road Records and Licensing opening hours: Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5pm, Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm, Saturday and Sunday closed.

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