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How long does the application process take?

Once we receive your completed application form and fee,  provided all the necessary information has been supplied at that time, you should allow up to 8 weeks for us to determine your application. If a licence is granted, you will then have 6 months to complete the works after which approval will lapse and you will need to apply again.

Can I appeal a refused licence?

Please contact us directly if you would like to discuss why your licence was refused

 I want to move the item you licensed, do I need a new licence?

No, this would only require a written amendment.

I am a food vendor, do I need a licence?

Anyone selling food by the roadside will need to contact the environmental health department at their local district or borough council.  This does not apply to table and chairs forming part of the frontage of a restaurant or cafe.

We do not issue licences for mobile food vendors who park in lay-bys or by the roadside.  We are unable to allocate or advise on locations for this type of vending. 

We ask that anyone running a mobile catering parks legally and does not obstruct the public highway with signs, tables or chairs.  If the location presents a danger, the vendor may be requested to move.

Food vendors wanting to park in Hastings or Lewes should contact the relevant borough or district council as they have certain guidelines that must be met.

What are advertisements with deemed consent?

Advertisements with deemed consent are advertisements which are displayed outdoors and are permitted without planning authority specific consent (providing they conform to the conditions)

The standard conditions are:

  • They must be kept clean and tidy
  • They must be kept in a safe condition
  • There must be permission from the owner of the site on which they are displayed 
  • If the sign is on highway land, permission is required from East Sussex Highways
  • The sign must not obscure, hinder the interpretation of official road, road, waterway or aircraft signs
  • The sign must be removed carefully where so required by the planning authority

The following type of signs have deemed consent:

  • Estate agents boards
  • Notice board at a municipal swimming pool (for example bus or rail timetable)
  • Brass plate outside a Doctor's surgery
  • Temporary notices or signs advertising local events being held for charitable purposes
  • Temporary notices or signs advertising a circus or fair

 What are advertisements which require express consent?

 If any advert does not fall within exempt or deemed consent categories then it will require express consent form the Local Planning Authorities:
Examples include:

  • Poster hoardings

  • External illuminated signs

  • Directional signs

There’s an unlicensed skip/scaffold/hoarding/cherry picker/builders material on the highway

Please contact us and we will check to see if this has been licensed.  If it has not our Enforcement Team will investigate the matter further.

I would like to leave tributes or a memorial on the roadside

The County Council will not authorise permanent roadside memorials. Temporary laying of floral tributes or soft toys etc are allowed on the understanding that they will be removed within 12 weeks. Any items should be placed away from locations that are hazardous to access, such as the central reserve of dual carriageways or the central island of busy roundabouts. Longer term memorials such as a bench or a tree may be acceptable, provided they are placed away from the public highway.

How much is a table and chairs licence?

Table and chairs licence is £240 a year.  To renew your tables and chairs licence, you will receive a letter from us when your licence is due for renewal.  

Table and chairs licences in Hastings and St Leonards are dealt with by Hastings Borough Council.
I would like to use an A board for advertising.  As a general rule East Sussex Highways tolerates the use of one A-Board per business without having to apply for a licence and payment of a fee, provided that the following requirements are met:

  • The footway must be wide enough to accommodate the A-Board whilst allowing pedestrians to pass and repass (minimum 1.2m preferably 1.5m)

  • The A-Board is required to be immediately adjacent to the front elevation of the shop so that it is within the owner’s view and control

  • The A-Board should be placed out in the same location every day

  • A-Boards that are placed remotely from the premises may be removed upon complaint

  • A-Boards may not be chained to street furniture and must be removed outside of trading hours

  • Boards are placed out at the owner’s liability


​I want to report an advertisement on the side of the road?

If the advertisement is causing an obstruction or is dangerous please report it to us and we will inspect it.



Licencing and Permits report »

Is a caravan allowed to be left on the highway overnight?

It is not an offence to park and sleep in a motorhome on the highway overnight.  A caravan must be attached to a vehicle that is taxed and insured.  The police can issue a Penalty Notice if the vehicle is left unattended and is parked dangerously or causing an obstruction. If the vehicle is left unattended for 13 months, East Sussex County Council can issue a notice to have it removed.  If the people using the motorhome are discarding waste onto the highway drains, this is an environmental health issue and the local district or borough council’s responsibility.

My neighbour is repairing vehicles on the side of the road, is this allowed?

Please contact your local borough or district council about this matter.

Someone has placed rocks or logs on the verge, pavement or road

Please contact us with further details and we will carry out an inspection.  If necessary the matter will then be referred to our Enforcement Team.

Refuse bins are blocking the path causing an obstruction

Depending on the district council or borough council the bins should be placed out by the time directed by the authority and removed the same day.  If bins have not been removed from the path, please contact your local district or borough council.

There are commercial vehicles parking in a residential street, is this allowed?

Company vehicles, utility vans and buses which are in excess of 3.5 tonnes must be parked in a designated goods yard or depot overnight.  If a vehicle in excess of 3.5 tonnes is regularly parked overnight in a residential road the Traffic Commissioners can implement a penalty on the company.  If the vehicle is less than 3.5 tonnes and is taxed the Traffic Commissioners will not be able to help.  

Can I put up a poster on the highway?

We don’t allow posters to be placed upon the highway. Advertisements for charitable and locally based community events are allowed providing that the following guidelines are respected:

  • Maximum of two signs on each approach road to the event

  • Signs to be placed at the back of the verge

  • No signs on street furniture (barriers or street lights for example)

  • No signs within 60 metres of a junction

  • Signs should not be put in place more than seven days prior to the event

  • Signs to be removed immediately after the event

  • Signs not to exceed 0.6 square metre in area. (Approximately 2 feet by 2 feet)

  • No commercial advertising

  • No metal posts

Any signs placed out upon the highway are done so at your own risk. It is recommended that you take public liability insurance for five million pounds to cover yourself in the event of a claim arising out of the activity. Signs which are placed out and do not comply with these guidelines will be removed, as of April 1st a £57.20 charge will incurr for collection, per sign. 

There are vehicles for sale on the side of the road, is this allowed?

Under the Clean Neighbourhood Act the district or borough council's have the powers to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice, please contact the relevant council directly.

Licencing and Permits report »