Recent deregulation now allows for certain registered organisations to place services into the highway which are later adopted by a statutory undertaker. The placing of this apparatus requires a Section 50 licence which would be granted for a limited time and would cease at the point of adoption. The applicant should be the landowner requiring the service and not the contractor carrying out the works. In some cases, a licence may be granted to the contractor but only where an adoption agreement can be proven and the licence would then be conditioned that should the infrastructure not be adopted, it must be removed and the highway made good. In all cases, the contractor will be required to apply for a Section 171 permit to dig and at this point, a check will be made to ensure that the contractor is registered on the Lloyds Register. The licence holder will be required to confirm with evidence that the apparatus has been adopted and at that point, the licence will be revoked.
The granting of a licence for utility services is normally only granted where the infrastructure will be adopted by a statutory undertaker. This is due to the risks associated with the various services (such as gas mains/services) and the potential hazard to highway users and other organisations involved in working in the highway.
Please note: where a licence has been granted, the works would be approved under a temporary excavations (permit to dig) approval which places the responsibility for reinstatements on the Section 171 permit holder (contractor). Where a Section 50 licence has been granted for a limited time, the licence may cease before the guarantee period has expired and in such cases, the Section 171 permit holder remains responsible for the reinstatements until the end of the guarantee period.