Getting a Skip Permit

When you hire a skip and need to place it on the road (public highway), you may need a skip permit from your local council.

The variances in skip permit charges and regulations from council to council are massive – fighting for homogeneity of skip permit charges is something we are constantly doing via The Skip magazine - because the charges made are subject to interpretations of the Highways Act 1980: section 139 road traffic regulations act, 1984.

You will need to check your local councils’ skip hire permit guidelines. If you are unsure which council you need to contact, use the "Find your Local Authority" tool on Direct.gov.uk.

Some councils – mostly in London and Scotland – require you to apply directly to them for a permit, whereas most of them require the application to be from the skip hire company itself. To save time, just give us a call on 01495 310438 or email us and we'll tell you what you need. (Note: Some councils will charge you more if you need the permit within three days of your application).

Also, different councils have different expiry dates and it is worth checking when you apply so you can arrange a suitable collection date. If you are looking for long-term skip hire you will need to submit another application, and may be asked to pay a surcharge.

If your council is one that requires you to apply directly for a skip hire permit, you will need to learn how to apply. There is no standardised system – some councils need you to fill in a form on their website, others require a letter, and some allow you to obtain one by visiting their offices.

Who is required to obtain a skip permit?

The skip owner (supplier) is responsible for obtaining the permit. It is not the householder's or the builder's (contractor) responsibility to obtain the highway permit. However, as a householder, you should verify that your skip supplier has the necessary permit before they deliver the skip.

The skip owner (supplier) also has the responsibility to ensure that skips are positioned on the highway in such a way that they do not cause an obstruction to other road users. The supplier is responsible for ensuring that all appropriate regulations are adhered to.

How long does a permit last?

A licence can be valid for any period between 1 day and 14 days. For longer periods additional applications should be made. Only one skip will be allowed on site at any one time except in exceptional circumstances.

Where should skips be placed?

Whenever possible, skips should be placed on the carriageway. If permission is granted to place skips on a footway or grass verge, an agreed method of protecting the surface should be carried out by the skip owner or householder.

Are there any other requirements?

Skips placed on the carriageway require at least 4 traffic cones on the approach side to guide traffic past the skip.

During the hours of darkness, in poor daytime visibility and bad weather, road danger lamps (flashing amber) must be placed against or attached to each corner of the skip. If sited on the carriageway, a lamp should be placed between each cone.If the Council's contractors are called out to lamp a skip or make it safe, a charge will follow.

Skips placed on the highway shall not contain any inflammable, explosive or noxious material, or anything which is likely to cause nuisance to highway users.

Contents of the skip shall be kept "damped-down", or covered to prevent dust or spillage on the highway. The skip must not be overloaded and must be removed when full.

How do I apply for a skip permit?

Remember, it is only the skip owner (supplier) who is responsible for obtaining the permit. It is not the householder's or the builder's (contractor) responsibility to obtain the highway permit.

To apply for a skip permit, the skip supplier should contact the Council at the above address by telephone, fax, e-mail or letter giving details of the proposed location of the skip and the dates that it will be located on the highway.

What are the Regulations?

Highways Act - 1980 - Section 139
Regulations relating to the depositing of a builder's skip on a highway

The Council in exercise of their powers, under Section 139 of the Highways Act 1980 hereby grant you leave to apply for permission to deposit a builder's skip on a highway within its boundaries, subject to the provision that application is made and permission is granted through the Central Register procedure as detailed in the attached letter and subject to the conditions contained in the Schedule hereto
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