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Advice and answers from the ISM Waste & Recycling Team
Posted: 9th February 2021

Skip Permits & Regulations

So at this point, you've probably decided that you want to hire a skip. You've got a good idea of which skip size you need, and now you need to choose where the skip will go.

Usually, it will be a choice between a driveway to a property, on the side of a public highway or a business site. Where you want the skip to go will determine whether you need a permit or not.

"Do I need a permit for my skip?" is one of the most common questions we get asked... So here's everything you need to know about skip permits.

Skip hire

When do you need a skip permit for your local council?

In the UK, skip permits are necessary for placing skips on public land and highways. Local authorities issue these permits to regulate waste disposal, ensuring safety and environmental compliance. Typically valid for a period of up to 28 days, permit costs vary by location, ranging from £15 to £60, depending on the council.

If you're putting a skip on private land such as a driveway you're not going to need a permit. If you want it to go on the roadside (public highway), you will have to get a skip permit from your local council. But, as you can imagine, it isn't always that simple.

There can be exceptions where you won't need a permit on a skip even if it is placed on a roadside because not all roads are classed as public highways. Unadopted roads are roads which do not have to be adequately maintained by the highway authority under the Highways Act 1980.

There is still a legal duty to maintain the roads that are usually on the owners of the properties on the road's side. Unadopted roads are most commonly found in quiet residential areas with low traffic volumes (usually just the residents who live on the road).

There will also be some restrictions on which size skips can go on a public highway. Like many factors, this can vary in different areas as the local councils set the rules.

Usually, the largest skip that can go on a public highway is an 8 yard skip which is a builders skip. An 8 yard skip is generally big enough for domestic skip hire jobs so this shouldn't be an issue.

Why do you need a permit on a public highway?

Skip permits are required for all skips placed on public highways.

The point of a skip permit is to ensure the skip is placed safely and all licences are granted or rejected by your local council.

A permit application will be rejected if it doesn't meet specific criteria.

Skips can't go where it would endanger road users, block access to a property, reduce highway width too much or reduce visibility at a junction or crossing point.

Skip permits are also used to control how many skips are on roads at one time. Too many skips on the road at the same time can be an issue for several reasons. Skips take up as much, if not more space than a car. So if there was to be too many, it could impact parking and traffic flow through the area.

Who arranges the permit?

Who arranges the skip permit varies in different areas depending on the rules set out by your local council. In the vast majority of regions throughout the UK, it will be the skip hire company that applies for and arranges the permit.

Still, there are certain areas where it is the hirer's responsibility. When you enquire about hiring a skip, this will all be explained to you.

How long do skip permits last?

A skip permit typically lasts one or two weeks, but like many other factors, this depends on the council. Most councils will allow the initial period to be extended; however, there will be an additional fee to extend.

If you keep a skip for longer than the agreed permit duration, you may face a fine.

How to check if a skip has a permit?

If you believe a skip has been placed on a public highway without a permit, you can contact the skip hire company that has hird out the skip to get some more information. Otherwise, you can call the local council to determine if a permit has been issued for a skip in that location.

What happens if a skip on a public highway doesn't have a permit?

It is illegal for a skip to be on a public highway without a permit. Any skips without a license can be removed without notice and, you could face a fine of up to £1000.

At least 4 traffic cones must guard skips on the approach towards the skip. At night, lamps must be attached to the skips' corners and between each cone and shall remain lit throughout the night.

Skip permit prices

Skip permit prices vary depending on where you want to hire the skip. Your local council sets the prices. The licence fees range from as low as £15 up to £60. Skip permit prices tend to be lower in the north of England and higher in the south.

Use the table below to get a rough idea of what permit prices you should expect in different areas throughout England. The table should only be used as a rough guide as the prices will vary depending on the local council in your area.

Skip Permit Prices
Location Average Price
Manchester £25
London £60
Birmingham £20
Leeds £20
Liverpool £25
Newcastle £20
Sheffield £15

*Prices should be used as a guide only.

Skip permits can be a costly additional charge in some areas on top of hiring a skip. If possible, we recommend that if you have space for a skip on private property that is safer and a simple way of lowering the costs.

Ready to hire a skip?

Now you know about skip permits, and you've decided where you want your skip to go. Call us on 01706823001 to enquire about hiring a skip. We're always happy to help, and we can answer any questions you may still have about skip hire. We cover all areas across the northwest of England, including Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Burnley, Blackburn, Bolton, Preston and many more.

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