Excavating the highway

Excavation licence

You will need a licence if you:

  • need to repair existing apparatus such as pipe work or cables, or place new apparatus that will be in your ownership in the public highway
  • are having utility-owned apparatus placed in a trench that is to be excavated by a third party – a contractor you have hired that has no connection to any of the utility companies
  • need to carry out excavation to repair a retaining wall, or if you want to excavate investigatory trial holes in the public highway.

How much will a licence cost?

  • Placing a new apparatus in the highway £390.
  • Repairing an existing apparatus £270.
  • There is an extra charge of £75 for each additional 200 metres length of excavation.
  • The cancellation fee is up to £120 – the final cost depends on how far the application has been processed.
  • There is no extra fee for using temporary traffic signals.
  • If Devon County Council has served you a Section 81 notice letter there is no fee to pay.
  • Construction of a solar or wind farm £470.
  • Making a temporary excavation in the highway £270.

There is no VAT to add to these prices.

How do I apply?

What if I need to close a road or change a traffic regulation order?

To close a road or change a traffic regulation you will need to apply for a temporary traffic regulation order (TTRO). A temporary traffic regulation order is the legal process that is used to introduce temporary restrictions, for example a road closure, suspension of a one-way street or a suspension of parking.

Road closures are a last resort and will only be granted following a completed application and risk assessment. Check the costs for temporary road closure.

Read the guidance notes and then fill in application form TTRO2. Please ensure that on the application you select that this is for a private streetworks licence.

Where do I send my completed applications?

You can download the forms, fill them in and email them to us at highwaycoordination@devon.gov.uk or print them off, fill them in and post them to:

Devon Highways
Lucombe House
County Hall
Exeter
EX2 4QD

Please send your TTRO along with your Section 50 application to the same email or postal address above to ensure they are processed in conjunction with each other. If you are making payment by cheque you can supply one cheque for the full amount of both applications. Any further documents, such as the SWL5 form, can also be sent to the same address or emailed to highwaycoordination@devon.gov.uk

We can take payment by card over the phone for applications sent by email.

Help us improve

If you have recently applied for a section 50 licence and would like to provide some feedback on the process please use our Highways feedback form to do so. If you are a contractor please use Feedback form – for contractors.

We will look at all feedback submitted and, where possible, use it to improve our service.