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Introduction notes for applicants

This information is for anyone who wishes to apply for a Section 50 Licence under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (NRSWA).

If you or your organisation wish to place, retain and afterwards inspect, maintain, adjust, repair, alter or renew apparatus in the highway then you must obtain a licence from Newcastle City Council. The term apparatus includes drains, cables, ducts, sewer pipes, water and gas pipes etc. both under, over, across, along and upon the highway.

Those applicants not familiar with the requirements of this legislation are strongly advised to appoint a Contractor with the appropriate knowledge and accreditation to help complete the application and conduct the works on their behalf.

If you require permission to work in the highway but do not intend to place or retain any apparatus you will require a Road Opening Notice which is a separate application process.

The Highways Act 1980 and the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (NRSWA) provide the legislative framework for work being undertaken in the highway and the co-ordination of street works activities.

As the Highway Authority, it is essential that Newcastle City Council has an accurate record of all works undertaken on our highway and without this accuracy the Council cannot fulfill its Network Management Duty under the Traffic Management Act (TMA).

The person granted a licence becomes an undertaker for the purposes of the New Roads and Street Works Act (NRSWA) and therefore has duties and responsibilities imposed by the act and associated secondary legislation and Codes of Practice.

It is important that whoever is applying for a licence is familiar with this element of the legislation and understands the implications should they fail to comply with this. Your liability cannot be delegated so it is vital that you understand this entire process and adhere to the requirements and conditions.

Please note the Terms and Conditions are in the application along with Guidance for applicants.


Please contact should you have any queries.


Application Form

Please complete the application form for a Section 50 licence.

You must notify Newcastle City Council the next working day followign the works start (by 4:30pm) confirming that your works have started.

You must notify Newcastle City Council the next workign day following the works stop (by 4:30pm) confirming that your works have finished.


Registration Form

Please complete the registration form.

You must submit your registration details within 10 working dats following the completion of your works.


Public Register

The highway authority maintain an electronic register of all Section 50 licences they have issued. If you wish to view these details please email your request to

Legislative documents

The documents noted below will be a valuable source of further information which will explain further details:

  • New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, for the Co-ordination of Street Works and Works for Road Purposes and Related Matters 
  • New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, for the Code of Practice for Inspections


Page last updated: 
10 December 2018
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