These articles might answer your enquiry…

Search the knowledge area

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.

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 »

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 »

Licence Application forms

Licence for scaffold/skip/plant/materials/hoarding licence

The licence lasts for 14 days and costs £53.  We will only issue licences to companies with £10 million Public Liability Insurance and not to customers who want a skip or scaffolding outside their property.  If you require a skip or scaffolding outside your property, you should contact a private skip or scaffolding company directly who will organise the licence.  A licence is not needed if it is to be placed on private land. 

Please can we have your completed application forms at least 5 days before the start date of the application.

Please use the links below for our application forms:        

Please read the attached conditions, complete the licence and return to our offices: 
Post: East Sussex Highways, The Broyle, Ringmer, East Sussex, BN8 5NP

Section 171 application for a licence to make a temporary excavation or to deposit materials on the highway

A section 171 licence is required by anyone (including utility companies) who wishes to temporarily deposit materials (including a gazebo) or make a temporary excavation on the highway.  
If you require a section 171 licence please download the form below and complete and return it to

S171 Licence Application - Temporary Evacuation
S171 Licence Application - Temporary Deposit of Materials

Licence to carry out works to a cross channel drain

A cross channel drain takes rain water from a property, usually the drain runs under the pavement and empties either onto the road or into a roadside drain.  As the cross channel drain is taking water from a property it is the property owner’s responsibility to maintain the drain.  It is necessary that cross channel drains are kept in good order to prevent members of the public from tripping, falling or injuring themselves.  Should a member of public have an accident as a result of a dangerous cross channel drain the property owner may be liable.
Work must be carried out by a New Roads and Street Works approved contractor.  Approved contractors can be found via East Sussex County Council.
Before carrying out work to a cross channel drain a cross channel agreement form must be completed and approved by our Licensing and Enforcement Team.  Please complete our agreement form / construction notes listed below and return to

Cross channel agreement form

Cross channel construction options

Licence to place banners/cables/decorative lighting/bunting on the highway

A licence is needed to place banners, cables, decorative lighting or bunting over the highway.
Please complete the application form below and return to

Licence application - banners/cables/decorative lighting/bunting

 Licence to place a bench/ noticeboard/planter/waste bin on the highway

A licence is required in order for a bench, noticeboard, planter or waste bin to be placed on the highway.  Please complete the form listed below and return to

Licence application - bench/noticeboard/planter/waste bin/grit bin

Licence to place a sign on the highway

Although we do tolerate instances for placing signs on the road for advertising there may be an instance where we will licence them.  
If you require a licence to place a sign on the highway, please complete the form listed below and return to

Licence application - sign on the highway

Licence to discharge treated effluent into a highway drainage system

East Sussex Highways does not have a duty to allow private drainage systems to discharge into its highway drainage system.  It will, however, give applications consideration when there is no other alternative means of disposal and as a last resort measure, providing that the highways drainage system is in a good state of repair and not working to its maximum capacity.

Licence application - treated effluent concrete bagwork spec and drawings
Treated effluent - procedure and information

Cultivation licence

A licence is required in order to plant shrubs, trees and other cultivation on the highway.    The cost of the licence is currently free, but the following guidelines must be adhered to:

  1. The plants and shrubs must be kept in good order, attended and weeded.
  2. The erection of fences, walls, structures etc on the land is not permitted.
  3. Plants must not overhang or protrude over the carriageway/footway.
  4. Vegetation is not to be planted or allowed to grow to a height where drivers’ visibility may be obstructed.
  5. The Licensee is responsible for cutting the grass surrounding the plants and shrubs
  6. The licence is granted and remains in force only to the persons nominated on the application form unless otherwise agreed by East Sussex Highways and could become null and void should the Licensee cease to have the interest stated.

East Sussex Highways reserves the right to revoke the licence at any time and for any reason, and in this event the licensee has no right of appeal or right of compensation.

To apply for a cultivation licence please read the guidance notes and complete the application form below and return to

Licence application - cultivation
Cultivation licence application - guidance and notes 

Grit bin request

We will provide new grit bins where:
• the costs are met by residents' associations, businesses, or the local parish, town or district council
• There is a suitable location for the new bin.
For a new grit bin please contact your local parish or town council or district council in the first instance to find out whether they would be willing to provide one. If they agree to your request, they will contact us. We will review the request and, if approved, agree a suitable location. Bins can be located on the highway, private or Council owned land, with the landowner's permission.   

If you are a residents' association, parish, town or district council applying for a new grit bin, please complete the form listed below and return to

Request application - grit bin

Application for placing posts on the highway

A licence is required to install posts on the highway.  Please see attached our application form to apply to place posts on the Highway.

Licence application - posts on the highway


Licencing and Permits report »