Temporary highway licences

Festive lights and christmas decorations

Consent from Bromley Council is needed to place/erect festive lights or christmas decorations on or over the highway. This permission is given by granting a temporary highway licence.

When is a licence required

A licence is required for any festive Lights/christmas decorations that either oversail or are affixed to any London Borough of Bromley highway assets on one of the following at any time:

  • Any public highway over which Bromley Council has authority and maintains at the public expense. 
  • Any unadopted highway upon which Bromley Council must ensure that the public have a ‘right of passage’ and the ability to pass and repass. 

A licence is not required on private roads where public access is restricted or controlled. 

Transport for London (TfL) is responsible for licencing any festive lighting/seasonal decorations on any TfL Red Route within the borough, which are: 

  • The A21 (starts on the borough Boundary with Lewisham on London Road, and comprises Tweedy Road, Kentish Way, Masons Hill, Bromley Common, Hastings Road, Farnborough Common, Farnborough Way and Sevenoaks Road before finishing within the borough at Hewitts Roundabout)
  • The A232 (starts on the borough boundary with Croydon at Wickham Road and comprises West Wickham High Street, Glebe Way and Croydon Road before meeting the A21 at Farnborough Common)

All enquiries that relate to these locations should therefore be redirected to TfL - highway licences

Applying for a licence

The council has a festive lighting policy, guidance notes, and risk assessment template to support the licensing of festive lights and christmas decorations.  All applicants should read and understand these as the London Borough of Bromley reserves the right to reject any application that fails to meet any part of them.

In order to consider an application you will need to complete an online application. You will need to:

  • Provide basic personal information about yourself.  
  • Identify a trader representative contact detail (who shall be known as the ‘operator’) of the installation in question. 
  • Provide evidence that you have read and meet all sections of the licencing procedure. 
  • Provide Public Liability Insurance with a minimum value of £5 million that indemnifies both you and the London Borough of Bromley against any third party claims of damages to persons and property. Applicants should however be aware that they are liable for claims beyond that value. 
  • Provide a full risk assessment. You may download a copy of our risk assessment template but we will accept them in any format so long as they address all required aspects as outlined in our policy above. 

We ask that all applications are submitted at least two months in advance, and by the latest 30 August. Bromley Council will aim to process and grant all licences by mid-November, however please be aware that certain more complex applications may take longer than this. 

The responsibility for obtaining and following all regulations of the licence is solely that of the applicant 

Any festive lighting/christmas decorations that have been erected that:

  • Are unlicenced
  • Are in contravention of the licence conditions. 
  • Are considered by the London Borough of Bromley to be dangerous
  • Has damaged or altered any street furniture in any way.
  • Uses any electricity for which the applicant does not have permission
  • Require any visits by our contractor to maintain the safety of the public

Can result in enforcement action being taken including penalty charges levelled and/or the seizure, disconnection and removal of the items in question. 

How long is the licence granted for?

Licences will be valid for a period of around two months from mid-November until early January. At the end of the licence period the London Borough of Bromley will expect all installations to be de-energised immediately and removed from the site within 10 working days. 

Licence conditions

All licences granted for festive lighting will come with the following terms and conditions:

  • It is an offence under Section 178 of the Highways Act 1980 for anyone to attach unauthorised Festive Lighting to Street Furniture without Bromley Council approval as highway authority. 
  • Festive lighting must be erected, maintained and removed from site by a competent person. This person must be available throughout the duration of the licence for emergency attendance within two hours. 
  • Festive lighting must be de-energised and removed from site within 10 working days from the end of the licence. 
  • Festive lighting may not be strung above between lighting columns and trees in any locations that do not have the appropriate installations in place to facilitate this and must take power supplies from the ground level. They must leave a clearance of at least 5.8m from the Highway. 
  • The positioning of any festive lighting must not cause light nuisance or interfere with motorist sight lines, traffic signals, pedestrian crossing facilities or the performance of any CCTV cameras. 
  • Failure to comply with the licence conditions may result in charges being levied and future applications may be refused. If the council’s contractors are called out to make safe any licenced festive lighting installation, the licence holder will be charged for this service. 

Bromley Council reserves the right to add extra conditions to the licence such as time limitations that the festive installations are permitted to remain in-situ. Where these apply to your application, they will be listed under the ‘special conditions’ of the licence. 

Please note that the London Borough of Bromley is not responsible for carrying out any of the safety checks required as part of the application process. However, all festive lighting can be subject to random inspections by our operatives once installed. 

A laminated copy of the licence must be displayed on site in a suitably visible location at all times and contain the details of an emergency contact number as per the licencing process. 

Cost of licence

Bromley Council does not charge to grant the licence itself, however please note as part of the licencing process there may be additional charges for the following:

  • The work undertaken by the person(s) that you employ to inspect, erect and maintain the festive lighting. 
  • The installation of anything on a lamp column by a London Borough of Bromley contractor (such as an electrical socket or timer) 
  • Structural testing of the requested lamp column(s) if required. 
  • Electrical inspections before and after the commissioning of the festive lighting. 
  • The use of an electrical supply by UK Power Networks. 
  • Any site visits by our contractor to maintain the safety of the public. 

Vehicle access permits

Applicants should note that if they wish to erect festive lights/Christmas decorations in the pedestrianised area of Bromley High Street (between Market Square and Elmfield Road) that they will also be required to apply for a vehicle access permit. The applicant will be responsible for following all the terms and conditions of this permit, in particular that they only enter the area in question before 9am and after 5pm. 

Apply for a licence

Please complete our festive lighting licence application form 

 We cannot accept attachments that exceed 15MB in total. If the size of all your attachments totals this please reduce them in size. 

If you have not heard from us within 10 working days, please contact us.


Anyone who believes that they have been unfairly refused a licence can appeal

Appeal a refused licence

Data protection and privacy

For information on how we will use, process and store your personal data please see our privacy notice.