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Licence for skips

Skip licences are usually obtained by the company supplying the skip, so customers do not need to contact us directly. The licence ensures that skips are placed on the public highway safely and sensibly.

We do not recommend companies, so if you wish to hire a skip try a business directory such as Yell.com or skipandbin.com. Skip company charges may vary.

If you are a customer of a skip hire operator and have a complaint, first contact the operator preferably in writing, with proof of your complaint. If that does not work and if you are located in the UK, CAB Adviceguide can give you advice. From outside the UK, contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Report a problem with a skip that has not been emptied and could pose a danger


If you operate a skip hire business or own skips you need a skip operator licence. You'll need your Public Liability Insurance and Waste Carriers Licence. Apply to be a skip operator

We normally requires 3 days' notice to issue a licence. Licences are normally granted unless the road is narrow, has double yellow lines or the inspectors know of any reason why a skip should not be placed there.

The licence is initially granted for 28 days, then you can apply for it to be renewed.

Permission may be given subject to conditions, which may relate to the following: siting the skip, skip dimensions, making the skip visible to traffic, care and disposal of skip contents, lighting and guarding of the skips, skip removal. The operator will need to carry adequate public liability insurance in the sum of £5m and be a registered waste carrier.

Permission will probably not be given for a very large container (12ft) or 2 skips because they would take up too much room, which in turn takes parking away from residents.

To place a skip in a high street, you would need to discuss this with one of the council's inspectors. Skips in high streets have to be removed each night unless they are lockable and raised on blocks to prevent pavement damage. In Chatham High Street, skips must be delivered before 10am and collected after 5pm, as traffic is prohibited during this time.

The legislation covering skips is in the Highways Act 1980.

Will tacit consent apply?

  • Placing a skip: Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the council by the end of the five-day target completion period.
  • Skip operator: No. It is in the public interest that the council must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard about your application within a reasonable period, contact us.

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