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Will You Need a Permit When Hiring a Skip?

When hiring a skip, one extremely important aspect to consider and determine is whether you need to get a skip permit. However, getting to grips with skip permits, licenses, and legislation can feel like a daunting task if you are not familiar with the waste removal industry.

However, it doesn’t have to be as complicated as it sounds – Sheridan Skips is on hand to assist you throughout every step of the waste removal process.

Skip Permits – What Are They and Do I Need One?

According to The Highways Act 1980, skips cannot be placed on a public highway without permission from Highway Network Management. In giving their permission, the Highway Authority will ensure that all skips are placed safely, posing no danger to traffic and pedestrians travelling around it. Thus, if you wish to keep a skip on a public road, it is a legal requirement for you to apply for and retain a skip permit.

You won’t require a skip permit if you are keep your skip on private roads, driveways, or any other private property. When it comes to un-adopted roads it’s always best to double-check, even though these roads do not have to be maintained by the Highway Authority.

All applications are directed to the local governing authority, which is the local city or county council.

Before applying for a skip permit, consider the following key points to increase your chances of the permit being successful:

  • The skip will not be placed on double-yellow lines
  • No utility access points should be blocked or covered
  • If drives will be blocked, you should have written permission from the property owners
  • Whether the skip meets the necessary criteria to be left overnight unattended

Once receiving your application, the authority will consider a variety of factors, including:

  • How wide the road is and how safe it would be to place the skip on said road
  • How busy the road is and whether the skip may cause a significant obstruction, adding to the traffic
  • How close the skip will be to the property
  • Any dangers that the skip may cause
  • Cross-checking against scheduled road maintenance to ensure that no roadworks will coincide with the duration the skip is placed on the road

Permission may be granted unconditionally, or it may be subject to specified terms and conditions, such as:

  • Location details – it should not block the pavement, any crossroads or junctions, access to property, or too much of the road, and should not reduce visibility for drivers.
  • The maximum size of the skip allowed onsite – typically an 8-yard builder’s skip, which is the most common skip used for domestic properties.
  • How to ensure the skip is visible – skips must be visible to drivers and pedestrians even in the dark.
  • The disposal of the contents – the contents of the skip should be disposed of safely and appropriately.
  • How many days on the highway the skip is allowed to stay – skips must be removed on or before the date of the permit’s expiry.

Additional terms and conditions may apply, depending on the individual circumstances of your situation.

The price and conditions of the application vary from council to council. For example, in Manchester companies must provide insurance details that prove possession of public liability insurance of at least £10 million, plus a certified waste carrier license, and pay £128 upfront. The permit is then issued by Highway Network Management – you can contact Highways with any complaints or questions about applications and permits.

skip permit legislation

What is Covered by Your Skip Permit?

As a skip permit holder, you will be entitled to keep your skip on the road outside your property for the agreed term, allowing you to fill it to the brim with the items you wish to dispose of.

However, a skip permit does not just pertain to the location of the skip – in order to be granted a license,  the skip company will be required to prove they hold a waste carrier license. This means that, once you are done with the skip, you can then remove it from the road and be rest assured that the items in your skip will be disposed of effectively.

At Sheridan Skips, we take this one step further – we understand that landfills that are overflowing contribute towards global warming, so we ensure that recyclable materials are disposed of in the most environmentally friendly way.

What if I Don’t Have a Skip Permit?

Enforcement officers will regularly check up on all skips in and around Manchester, checking to see if they have a license. As official enforcement officers, they will be able to see all the details at the touch of a button.

In addition to this, your neighbours or passers-by are well within their rights to report a skip that they think might be unlicensed, either by calling the skip company directly or by reporting it to the local council or government over the phone or via a feedback form platform. If the skip gets reported, then enforcement officers will be dispatched to investigate the matter.

As skip permits are a way to ensure public safety is maintained, being caught using a skip without a license may result in a hefty fine. The same applies if you are caught breaking any of the terms and conditions of your permit. In some cases, this can cause the permit to be rescinded effective immediately.

Fines for unlicensed skips are most typically issued to the skip company that is named on the side of the skip. However, in some cases, it is the requirement of the council that the customer organises the permit. In these cases, the skip hire company can pass the fine down to the customer.

Thus, it is good practice to always check that a valid permit is in place for your skip, whether it was your requirement to acquire it or not. This will ensure that neither you nor the hire company will be fined by the Highways Authority or your local council.

If you are completely new to skip permits, and you think you may have been using a skip that you should have got licensed, don’t panic. If you simply forgot or didn’t know, apply for a skip permit immediately.

You will receive a monetary penalty, plus the upfront cost to backdate the skip permit to when you first placed it on the street; however, this will be a lot less hefty than the fine you will receive if you are caught without a license.

This does not just refer to skips – you still need a skip license for other waste removal containers, such as a skip bag or a Hippo bag, if they are to be located on a public highway. It is also worth noting that these bags come with additional terms and conditions relating to the waste that can be disposed of in them, prohibiting certain hazardous items and heavy objects.

Another instance where you might not realise you need a skip permit is if you opt for a one load service, where the skip arrives and leaves within a day. Even if the skip is only on the public highway for a single day, it can still pose a danger to the public, and thus you will still be legally required to purchase a skip permit.

Frequently Asked Skip Permit Questions

Applying for a skip permit for the first time doesn’t always have to be a daunting task. To assist you in your journey, our experts have collated and answered some of our most frequently asked questions about skip permits.

How long does a skip permit last?

The license period of a skip permit depends on two factors – how long you need the skip license for, and how long the council are willing to grant it for. This means that a skip permit can significantly vary from anything between 1 week to 28 days, depending on the situation.

If you require the skip for longer than this, you may be able to contact the council in advance to discuss a longer-term solution. Otherwise, permits can be extended for an additional fee. You can find more information about this below.

The term as to which the permit is granted should be stuck to at all time, as if you exceed the duration of the skip permit without notifying the relevant council or applying for an extension, then you will face the risk of a fine or the permit being revoked.

Where do I get a skip permit from?

A skip permit should be obtained from the relevant local council – that is, the legislative authority where the skip is to be situated, and thus the owner of the public road. In some cases, it is the responsibility of skip companies, or your chosen skip hire business, to obtain the license. In others, filling out the application form is up to the property owner to apply for skip licenses and permits.

To check whether you are responsible for skip permit applications, you can find the rules about skip permits for each local council on the Government website.

How much does a skip permit cost?

The license fee of a skip permit varies from council to council. Some municipalities may charge a set price per skip, whereas others may charge per skip, per week. The license cost might also take into account other fees for skips, such as single parking bay suspension fees, comprehensive parking suspension fees, or a parking permit when the skip is to be placed in a controlled parking zone, in accordance with the relevant council safety restrictions.

In these cases, you may have to apply separately for a parking suspension permit from the council’s parking services team. Though this will not directly affect the cost of skip permits themselves, this can increase the overall fees for skips on the whole.

What happens if I forget to get a skip permit?

If you forget to get a skip permit, and thus have possession of an unlicensed skip, you can receive a monetary fine, plus the cost to backdate the permit to the time you started using it. It is up to the issuing council in respect to how much this fine might be.

Can I renew my skip permit?

If you have a valid skip license that is about to expire, you can pay an additional fee to renew your permit for up to another 28 days, depending on the highway authority. If it has already expired, you will need to apply for a new permit as soon as possible to avoid incurring any fines.

Can someone else complain about my skip permit?

Members of the public might contact highway network management to make a complaint if you are violating the terms and conditions of your permit. These conditions will be stipulated by your local council when issuing your permit.

Terms and conditions can include the need for safety lights, reflective markings, traffic cones, contact details of the skip company, and that the skip is not blocking the pavement. If these terms are violated, you can be fined up to £1,000.

Can my skip permit be revoked?

Your permit can be revoked if you fail to comply with the terms and conditions of your skip license, such as location, dimensions, visibility, lighting, or not using a suitable rubbish clearance service. Even if it is not revoked, you may incur a hefty fine instead.

What do I do if my application is turned down?

When skip permit applications are rejected, then you might be able to seek licence holder redress. For expert advice or an advice guide about this, get in touch with our customer service team, or enlist the free and impartial assistance of Citizens Advice.

Can anyone else use my skip permit?

No – the skip permit is for your skip only, from the named skip hire company, situated in the approved location, for the specified amount of time.

Obtain your Manchester Skip Permit

Still have questions you haven’t found the answer for? Looking for skip hire without having to worry about organising permits yourself? Sheridan Skips can assist you through every step of the way.

Here at Sheridan Skips, we are committed to protecting the environment and the surrounding communities that we operate in. Due to this, we will always go above and beyond to ensure that the appropriate safety measures, permits, and carbon-conscious waste disposal techniques are implemented at all times.

For skip hire in Droylsden, Oldham, and the Greater Manchester region,  you can contact our friendly customer service team online or by calling 0161 675 0640.

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