When you need a building materials licence

If you want to place building materials on any part of a public road or street, you need a licence from the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

Whenever possible, you should put all building materials on private land. If you do this, you generally will not need a building materials licence.

This licence will normally be valid for four weeks. To extend this period, you have to apply again, before the expiry of the current licence.

How to apply for a licence

Apply for a licence online

You will need to tell us:

  • the name of your company
  • the company address
  • your name
  • your phone number
  • the site address
  • the date the work is to start
  • the duration of the work
  • the approximate height, length and type of the building material
  • the approximate width and area of the materials over the public highway

How much does it cost?

You will need to pay a non-refundable pre and post site inspection fee of £79 when you make your application.

From 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025, the fee for each licence is £187.

You will also need to pay a refundable deposit (terms and conditions apply).

The cost of licences are reviewed yearly in April. 

What happens next

When you have completed the online application form and paid the inspection fee, an engineer from the Royal Borough of Greenwich will come to inspect the location.

The engineer will decide on the size of the refundable deposit - in addition to the standard licence fee that you will have to pay. This deposit is to cover any damage that may be caused.

You will be required to pay your deposit and licence fee in advance, either by cash, cheque or credit or debit card. We will call you to inform you of the amount payable, and your payment options.

When we have received your payment we will issue you with a licence number.

When you have completed your building work, you will need to contact us again to let us know.

Our engineer will revisit and inspect your site. If the building materials have not damaged the road or street, we will return your deposit to you.

Conditions of the licence

We will tell you all the conditions attached to the licence when we issue it.

These conditions include:

  • a single licence allows for the storage of materials, not exceeding three metres in length, 1.5 metres in width and one metre in height. You will need to consult us if larger quantities are involved
  • materials placed in, or partly on, the road require at least four traffic cones on the approach side to guide traffic past the storage area
  • during the hours of darkness, in poor daytime visibility and bad weather, road danger lamps - flashing amber - must be placed to indicate the area of the site. If sited in the road, a lamp should be placed between each cone
  • if our contractors are called out to lamp the site or make it safe, we will charge you for this
  • building materials placed on the highway must not obstruct or interfere with the drainage of the street or with any apparatus of the public utility companies.