Temporary structures

 A temporary structure licence is required to place a temporary structure on or over a public highway.  

A temporary structure is:

  • scaffolding
  • hoarding
  • building materials, Portaloo or container
  • a crane or cherry picker on the public highway
  • a crane on a private site that will oversail the public highway

To apply for a temporary structure licence, you must:

  • pay a refundable deposit, based on the area of the highway affected
  • pay a non-refundable fee to cover administration and site inspections (see table below)
  • provide a copy of your public liability insurance policy
  • provide a plan, diagram or drawing showing clearly where the temporary structure will be located

Apply for a temporary structure license

Once we receive your application and payment, a pre-inspection will take place. If your licence is granted, we will send you a digital copy. 


There are two elements to the cost of a temporary structure licence:

  • administration fee and inspection charges, depending on duration of licence
  • deposit, based on total area of highway affected

The administration and inspection fee covers our time in processing a temporary structure licence application, and in inspecting the site before and after the structure has been erected. We also carry out at least one inspection while the structure is on site. If the structure will be on site for more than a month, we will carry out an additional inspection each month. Therefore the fee due will vary depending on how long the structure is on site, as set out in the table below.

Time structure will be on site

Fee for site inspections and administration

Up to 1 month


1 to 2 months


2 to 3 months


3 to 4 months


4 to 5 months


5 to 6 months


Over 6 months

You will have to renew the licence after 6 months and pay a second set of fees

The deposit required is based on the area of footway/highway covered, enclosed or oversailed by the structure in square metres, at a cost of £40 per square metre. The area is worked out by multiplying the length by the width.  Your deposit will be refunded if a licence is not granted after a site inspection.

Making a payment

You will need to make payment before your application is processed.  Please make sure you follow the instructions given on the "making a payment" page on the online application.

Proof of insurance

If you want to install a temporary structure on the public highway, you (or your company) must have public liability insurance to cover at least five million pounds (£5,000,000). You must include a copy of your insurance policy with your application.


We aim to process licence applications within ten working days, assuming you have provided a completed application form, payment, a clear drawing and a copy of your insurance policy.

Responsibilities of signatory

The person who signs the “Agreement” box on the application form is responsible for ensuring that:

  1. The structure is located as shown in the application and as directed in the licence
  2. Care and attention is paid to public safety when installing and removing the structure 
  3. The public are excluded from the work area, while still maintaining free passage for the public along the footway
  4. The structure complies with the conditions placed on the licence
  5. The public highway around the structure is kept clean at all times
  6. The structure is removed from the highway by the expiry date of the licence


The structure will be inspected once each month while it is on the public highway. We have the power to issue fixed penalty notices for non-compliance with the conditions of a licence.

Road and footway closures

Cranes, scaffolds and hoardings may also need a temporary road or footway closure.  For further information please contact nmtcustomerenquiries@ealing.gov.uk. Please note we generally do not allow hoarding to enclose the entire footway, and will usually require a minimum width of 1.2m to be kept available for pedestrians at all times.

Parking suspensions

If you need to suspend parking, find out how to apply for this on the parking suspensions page.

Display of licence

If we approve your application and issue you with a licence, you must clearly display it at all times that the structure is on the public highway. The licence will need to be protected from the elements by being laminated or framed.

Duration of licence

The licence is valid for the period stated, up to a maximum of six months. If you need longer than six months, you will need to fill in the renewal form (provided with each licence) and make sure we receive it at least seven working days before the end of the first licence. You will also need to pay a new set of fees for a renewal.

Reclaiming your deposit

To reclaim your deposit once works are finished, complete the closure form (provided with each licence) and send it back to us. We will refund your deposit if:

  • We cannot grant your licence for any reason; or 
  • When the works are completed and we have confirmed that no damage has been caused to the public highway.

The refund will be paid to the card used to make the original payment.  If there are any damages to the public highway, we will deduct the cost of repairing these from your deposit before making the refund.