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Getting a Skip Permit



If you are hiring a skip for your home or business and need to place it on the road you will need a skip permit from your local council. The requirements are laid out in the Highways Act 1980: section 139 road traffic regulations act, 1984.

First you will need to check your local council’s skip hire permit guidelines. If you are unsure which council you need to contact you may find the "Find your Local Authority" tool on Direct.gov.uk useful. A few 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 and we'll tell you what you need. It is worth bearing in mind that some councils have a surcharge if you need the permit within three days of your application.

Another thing to consider is that 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 considering 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…


If your local council requires you to apply directly for skip hire permits, then you will need to learn how to apply. Perhaps surprisingly, there is no standardised system – different councils have different rules. 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. If this all sounds a bit complex, that’s because it is – and that’s why Value Skip Hire offer to take care of it all for you – just give us a call.

Sample council permit guidelines


The remainder of this page contains a typical example of the rules and regulations for skip hire permit. This particular example is taken from Tower Hamlets Council:

Sample skip permit application


The first thing to do to apply for a skip permit, please contact the council by phone, fax, email or in writing. The council will then send you a form which you must complete and post back. Payment will be requested from you once the permit has been issued by the council.

Permit charges can include the following: Highways occupancy charges and/or parking fees. Applications can take up to seven days to process.

Skip positioning
Each skip must not be bigger than 5 metres in length by 2 metres in width and skips must be positioned in the road unless the council has granted a permit for the skip to be placed elsewhere. If permission is granted to place skips on a footway or grass verge, a deposit is needed to cover any damage which may be caused.

Skip owners or suppliers who are issued with a permit to put skips in the road are responsible for ensuring that:

Skips are positioned on the road so that their longest sides are parallel to the edge of the road and are as near to the edge of the road as is possible.

Skips are not positioned less than 15 metres from a junction, except when permission has been granted.

Skips do not obstruct access to a premises, unless the consent of the occupier has been obtained.

Skips are positioned on the road so that they do not obstruct drivers and pedestrians in any way.

Skips do not prevent water drainage on the road or obstruct manholes or stop any functions that need to be carried out by the authorities.

If two or more skips are needed in the road, they must be positioned as closely as possible to each other.

Skip markings
Each skip must be clearly marked with the skip owner's or supplier's name and telephone number and all markings must also be kept clean and visible at all times.

The ends of each skip, i.e. the sides of the skip facing traffic in both directions, must be painted yellow and must be fitted with vertical red and yellow fluorescent reflective markings. These markings must comply with British Standard BS AU152:1970 and must be marked with that number.

Markings must be fitted as near as possible to the top outer corners of the ends of the skip, but no higher than 1.5 metres above ground level. The markings must not be fitted to lids and should only be fitted to a door when it is not possible to put markings on the end of the skip. When a marking has to be fitted to a door, the door should be kept closed, unless loading or unloading is actually taking place.

Cones and flash lights
If you are placing skips on the road you will require traffic cones on the approach side to guide traffic safely past them.

At night or in bad weather conditions, all skips must be marked by amber flashing lights which should be either attached to every corner of the skip or placed against the sides of the skip. If you have a row of two or more skips (with less than two metres space between them) you can put lights on the end corners of the row.

If the skip or skips are positioned on the road, lights should be placed between each of the road cones. You will be charged by the council if contractors have to be sent out to make a skip safe or to put lights on an unlit skip.

Skip contents
The contents of a skip placed on the road must not contain any inflammable, explosive, toxic or other dangerous materials or anything which is likely to cause a nuisance to road users. You must keep the contents of the skip covered to prevent dust or spillage on to the road. The skip must not be overloaded and must be removed when it is full.

Emptying skips
All materials placed in skips must be properly disposed of. Full skips must be removed for emptying as soon as possible and in all cases not later than two working days after they have been filled.

Other regulations
Other regulations that the skip owner or supplier is responsible for adhering to are:
  • Getting insurance so that the council is covered against any claims made regarding skips in the road.
  • Not subletting or transferring the ownership of any skips licensed by the council.
Skip permit expiry
Once the skip permit issued by the council has expired, you must remove the skip from the road. The road where the skip was positioned must also be left in a clean and tidy condition. If you need to have a skip in the road for an additional amount of time, you must reapply to the council for another skip permit.

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