Operation ELF - This is an ongoing operational policy adopted by a variety of partners to ensure that appropriate (and where necessary additional) procedures are implemented over the Christmas and New Year period.  This enables all those agencies involved in the management of the town Centre, from the local authority, police and the private sector, to plan for and manage the additional demands that occur at this time of year.

Each application for scaffolding (and/or hoarding) is to be given extra scrutiny if the installation is requested between the period between mid-November and mid-January. If a job requiring scaffolding is not urgent, the licensing officer will negotiate with the contractor to delay the start of works until mid-January.

​​​​​​​Check the list of town centre addresses

Scaffolding and hoarding

The erection of any structure on or over a public highway will require a licence from us before it can be put up. For crane licences please contact network.management@reading.gov.uk

If you wish to place scaffolding on any part of the highway (public road) in the Reading Borough you must apply to us for a licence. You should not commence with the erection of the structure until you receive the appropriate licence.

If both a hoarding and scaffolding licence are required for the same premise and duration, you can apply on one form and make one payment to cover both licences. 

To ensure compliance with licence conditions, we only accept applications from scaffolding companies. Building contractors and residents cannot apply.

The minimum licence period for a scaffold licence is 4 weeks. After this time, you will need to renew your licence by re-applying. Renewal is not automatic and will depend on the way works have been carried out during the period of the original licence. It's your responsibility to check that it doesn't run out before the building work is finished.

You do not need consent to place scaffolding on private land. However, you may need parking suspensions to enable you to complete the build. 

word icon Download the scaffolding and hoarding licence application form [159kb]

A scaffold tag MUST be displayed at all times with a current licence number.

You must display a laminated copy of any current scaffolding licence on the scaffolding where it stands on the highway. Your licence must be visible to anyone using the public highway. If you don't display your licence we may issue a Fixed Penalty Notice.


The standard fee is £177.50 for the first 4 weeks and then £27.62 per week thereafter per licence.

Please call Streetcare Admin on 0118 937 3787 and they will take the relevant amount payable by debit or credit card.

The licensee (the scaffolding company) is entirely responsible for the scaffolding and must follow the terms and conditions

If you don't follow these terms and conditions we may start enforcement action, including fixed penalty notices and/or prosecution. If any of the requirements of this licence are not complied with, we may take measures to mark, guard, light or remove the scaffold and clean and repair the highway and the licensee will be liable for the costs incurred.


You will still need a licence which you can apply for after the scaffolding or hoarding has been erected using the word icon scaffolding and hoarding licence application form [159kb]

If you have an emergency you will need to contact building control.


Switch To Normal Mode