Businesses that must close because of new coronavirus regulations

To reduce the spread of infection, a number of businesses and venues across the country must temporarily close, and not to open for trade.

The government created new regulations to enforce these closures where necessary. A business operating in breach of these regulations will be committing an offence.

Scaffolding and hoarding licence

When carrying out any building work, maintenance, or removing part of a property next to a public road, pavement or rear lane, the safety of people on the road is paramount.

You must provide safe areas at ground level or a platform at high levels. When it is necessary to place hoardings on the road/pavement around the place of work or scaffolding, you need to obtain permission from the council by completing a form together with a sketch. If you get permission, please read it carefully and make sure you adhere to all the conditions of the licence. For parking bay suspensions please see the additional guidance below.

Basic requirements

How to apply

  1. Begin your application by calling Streetline on 020 7364 5000, who will take your details and process the application.  
  2. There is a pre-application inspection fee of £36. Please call 020 7364 5000 (using credit or debit only) to make a payment.
  3. An officer will make contact to arrange a site meeting. When the officer visits they will fill in a form with the applicant, highlight any additional safety measures and calculate the fees the structure will cost. The form is signed by both parties which constitues an agreement to the information stated. Please note, it may take 2-4 weeks to set up a visit depending on work volumes, so it is advisable to  plan in advance.
  4. We will post you a licence; All licences MUST be displayed on the structure and be visible upon inspection on site.
  5. Application for a licence implies agreement to the council's terms and conditions.

To request your deposit back

Send us a formal letter, with the business address on it, and the license number quoted clearly and post to the following address:  

Support Services (Public Realm)
Room 1.7
John Onslow House
1 Ewart Place
London E3 5EQ

You can also email to request your deposit back, attaching a formal letter to the email. Please note that once we receive your request, we still need to visit the site to inspect the site. It may take up to six weeks to process a deposit return request. Payment is made out to the original payee or the company secretary.

Additional guidance


The council has the powers to:

  • Issue licences for scaffolding
  • To require erection of hoardings to separate building works from the street
  • To ensure that hoardings are securely erected
  • Remove non-licensed scaffolding
  • To deny a licence for a site

Contravention and penalties

The maximum fines for contraventions are:

  • £5,000 for non-compliance with scaffolding licence
  • £1,000 plus £2 per day for contravention of Section 172 of the Highways Act 1980
  • £200 plus £1 per day for contravention of Section 173 of the Act

Copies of the Highways Act 1980 can be purchased from the Office of Public Sector Information or accessed online via

Contact us

Temporary Structures Applications, 
Public Realm Admin, 
1st Floor, John Onslow House,
1 Ewart Place, Bow,
London Borough of Tower Hamlets, E3 5EQ

For payments over the phone

020 7364 5000