1. Requirement for a Licence
1.1 Section 50 of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (“the Act”) requires that any person, body or organisation (other than those bodies or organisations who have the benefit of specific statutory rights) must apply for a licence in order to place or retain apparatus in the street and thereafter inspect, maintain, adjust, repair, alter, renew, reconfigure/relocate or remove such apparatus from the street.
1.2 The term apparatus includes a sewer, drain or tunnel and any structure for the lodging or access to them. It also includes cables, ducts, and water and gas pipes.
1.3 The licence may authorise the placing of the apparatus and the carrying out of any sewer works incidental to it (for instance, the breaking up or opening of the street or any sewer, drain, tunnel under it, or tunnelling or boring under the street).
Applicants should note that the grant of a licence does not dispense with the need for the applicant to obtain any other consent, licences or permission that may be required. If in doubt what consents may be required, applicants are strongly advised to seek professional advice.
1.4 Any work undertaken in the street in breach of this requirement constitutes a criminal offence under Section 51 of the Act and the offending person, body or organisation may be liable on summary conviction to a fine up to £5,000.
2. Terms of the Licence
2.1 A licence may be granted to the applicant on terms permitting or prohibiting its assignment to another party. Exceptionally a licence may be granted to the owner of the land and its successors in title.
2.2 An applicant granted a licence becomes an undertaker for the purposes of the Act, any secondary legislation and codes of practice. This means that the applicant must comply with certain duties and responsibilities. For example, the applicant will be required to issue street works notices and/or pay charges pursuant to Section 74 and/or Section 74A of the Act for occupation of the street. Applicants not familiar with the requirements of this legislation are strongly advised to seek professional advice and to appoint a Contractor with the appropriate knowledge to help complete this application and to conduct the works on their behalf. Non-compliance with any requirement of the Act may result in penalties and future applications being rejected. Applicants cannot delegate this liability to any other person or organisation.
2.3 During and upon completion of the proposed works, Brent Council will require access to the works in order to carry out inspections.
2.4 The proposed works must conform to all current codes of practice and legislation. The needs of disabled people must be met.
2.5 The works must be carried out and completed without delay and in accordance with the schedule of work agreed with Brent Council.
2.5 Brent Council must be indemnified by the applicant against any claims for injury, damage or loss arising out of the placing or the presence of the apparatus or the execution of any works authorised by the licence.
2.6 Brent Council may stipulate in the licence, any conditions that they consider appropriate in the interests of safety, to minimise the inconvenience to persons using the street or to protect the structure of the street and integrity of the apparatus in it.
2.7 The owner of the apparatus has a statutory duty to ensure the apparatus is properly maintained at all times.
2.8 Where the applicant to the licence proposes to cease using the apparatus or dispose of its interest in the apparatus, six weeks advance notice must be given to Brent Council. If the licence is for the benefit of the owner and its successors in title then advance notice must be given to Brent Council of any transfer of the interest. Failure to comply with this requirement commits an offence and may be liable on summary conviction to a fine.
2.9 If a licence expires or is withdrawn or surrendered then Brent Council may remove the apparatus from the street or alter it in such a manner as it thinks fit and reinstate the street. The costs of these works may be recovered from the applicant. Alternatively Brent Council may require that the Applicant remove or alter the apparatus at its own cost.
3. Application for a Licence
3.1. All enquiries relating to the completion of the licence application, the issue and progress of the licence, all associated NRSWA notifications and all enquiries relating to the proposed traffic management or coordination of the works should be directed to should be directed to the:
Telephone: (020) 8937 5133
3.2. In order for Brent Council to comply with its statutory duties, all applications for a licence must be submitted three months in advance of the proposed works start date for works that require a Traffic Order, are 11 days or more in duration, or where the traffic management for the works will impact the carriageway. All other types of works must be submitted one month in advance of the proposed works start date. In urgent or emergency situations a shorter period may be agreed.
4. Other required New Roads and Street Works Act (NRSWA) activity notifications
Under NRSWA Works Promoters are required to provide the following Notices once the works have commenced. Failure to provide these Notices in a timely manner could result in a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) being given for each offence committed.
- In order to comply with Section 74 of NRSWA the Applicant must provide an “Actual Start” notice (as provided in Appendix B) to the Street Authority to inform them that the works have actually began. This Notice must be received by the Street Authority before 10am the day after the works commenced.
- In order to comply with Section 74 of NRSWA, the Applicant must provide an “ Works Closed” Notice (as provided in Appendix C) to the Street Authority once the street has been permanently reinstated and all spoil, materials, signing, lighting and guarding has been removed from site. The Works Closed Notice MUST be received by the Street Authority by the end of the next working day following the day on which the activity was closed.
- In order to comply with Section 70 of NRSWA, the Applicant must provide a “ Registration of Reinstatement” Notice (as provided in Appendix D) to the Street Authority following the completion of permanent reinstatement and the sending of a Works Closed Notice. The Registration of Reinstatement must be received by the Street Authority within 10 working days of completing the reinstatement.
5. Licence fees and charges
A fee of £495 must be paid when submitting your application.
Additional fees and charges
The applicant may also be required to pay additional costs if these are incurred:
a) Section 74 – Overrunning Works Charges.
Under NRSWA Street Authorities can charge Section 50 Licencees if street works take longer than previously agreed. A daily charge is applicable for each working day that the works exceed the longer of the prescribed or reasonable periods. The daily charge varied according to the road category, whether the street is Traffic Sensitive and whether or not the works affect the carriageway at any time during the period of overrun.
Applicants must ensure that they are familiar with the rules, regulations and fees associated with overrunning works. See further information about overrun charges.
b) Variation Requests
Any requirement that fundamentally changes the scope of the works originally specified within the application will require the Street Authority to process and reassess these proposals for impact to the road network and check for any conflicts with other works where any changes to dates are requested.
c) Future Maintenance Costs
Any future maintenance works required to the apparatus placed as part of the granted Section 50 Licence, or any remedial measures to the reinstatement of the street that qualify as registerable works under the Act will need to be processed and evaluated by the Street Authority. The charges applicable are determined by the registerable works activity categorisation for the proposed works.
d) Additional Inspection Fees
Under NRSWA, Street Authorities are permitted to recover the costs of inspections undertaken, as set-out in the Department for Transport’s Code of Practice for Inspections.
The Licence application fee includes a payment for undertaking a minimum of three inspections.
e) Remedial Works Undertaken by the Street Authority
Under NRSWA, Street Authorities can undertake remedial works where Works Promoters perform unsatisfactorily in responding to Defect Notifications issued by the Authority and charge their reasonable costs to the Licencee.
f) Legal Fees and Expenses
Part 3 of NRSWA details a range of statutory duties and obligations placed on Works Promoters and the offences associated with failing to comply with them. A Street Authority has the power to prosecute a Works Promoter in the Magistrate Court for an alleged failure to comply with legislation. The maximum fine that can be imposed by a Magistrate for an offence is £3000.
In addition, a Street Authority may choose to give a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) to a Works Promoter for failing to comply with legislation. An FPN offers a Works Promoter the opportunity to discharge any liability to conviction for a fixed penalty offence, by payment of a penalty. However, the Street Authority retains the power to take an alleged offender to the Magistrates Courts instead of giving an FPN.
The penalty is £120 which must be paid within 36 Calendar Days. A discounted amount of £80.00 will apply if payment is made within 29 calendar days.
Where an application is made in respect of apparatus to be placed or retained in a line crossing the street and not along the line of the street, a person aggrieved by:
- refusal by Brent Council to grant a licence
- refusal by Brent Council to grant a licence except on terms prohibiting its assignment;
- any terms or conditions of the licence granted may appeal to the Secretary of State.
For further information and full terms, please read the Department for Transport's Code of practice for the co-ordination of street and road works.