Make a request

Store materials on the road

If you want to place anything on the highway you will require a Section 171 licence.

To apply for a Section 171 licence, read the conditions, fill in the application form and email it with supporting documents to

Payments can be taken by card over the phone and we will contact you to arrange this.

Alternatively, you can download and print an application form and post it, along with a cheque, to:

Devon Highways
Lucombe House
County Hall
Exeter EX2 4QD

The licence permits you to deposit materials on the highway (including temporary traffic lights) and allows minor excavations, for example, repairing a wall. If your work requires more extensive excavations, you will need to apply for a Section 50 licence.

  • We need a minimum of 20 days’ notice for applications which are 1-10 days’ work (standard)
  • Minimum 3 months’ notice for applications which are 11+ days’ work (major)
  • A licence costs £65. If you make the request with fewer than 20 days’ notice, we may still grant the licence but the cost will be £100. However, less than 20 days’ notice can only be accepted for genuine emergencies which endanger life or is a risk to property.
  • An extension to an existing licence is £45.
  • Contractors need public liability insurance with a minimum cover of £5 million.

Staff employed to work on site should include a Chapter 8 accredited operative, who will be available at all times, as well as a Chapter 8 supervisor qualified to monitor activities.

You must also ensure that:

  • the drainage of surface water will not be obstructed
  • no inflammable, dangerous or noxious material will be allowed
  • all material deposited must be cleared away as soon as possible and the site left clean and tidy.

If you are applying for a Section 171 licence and your work will prevent traffic from using the road, then you will need to apply for a road closure in addition to this licence.

Related licences

Section 171 licences do not cover placing skips or scaffolding on the highway; you will need to apply for specific licences for each of these.

If your work is covered by a Section 38 or a Section 278 agreement, you will not need to apply for a separate Section 171 licence.

Help us improve

If you have recently applied for a section 171 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.