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You need a licence to construct or alter a building over a road in Northern Ireland.

You may also need planning permission and/or a separate consent for things like scaffolding or hoardings.

How to apply

Download an application form from the NI Direct website or call Roads Service.

Roads Service
Telephone: 028 9025 3000
Find out about call charges.

You must give the following information:

  • your details
  • agents’ details, if applicable
  • solicitor details
  • location of the works
  • purpose of proposed works and brief details
  • proposed start date and end date
  • whether planning permission has been sought and the application number

Completed applications should be returned to the Divisional Roads Manager along with 2 copies of a plan or drawing of the building.


Department for Regional Development (DRD) conditions on your licence can include:

  • required planning permission
  • minimum vertical and horizontal clearances
  • certification of adequacy from a chartered engineer in accordance with DRD’s Technical Approval Scheme
  • maintenance
  • use of the building
  • windows, if not fixed
  • investigation of the existence of cables, pipes and equipment belonging to service authorities and provision for their protection where appropriate

If your works are complex you may also be required to:

  • provide and maintain adequate drainage
  • execute additional works or provide facilities deemed by DRD to be required in connection with the building eg safety barriers, additional lighting etc.
  • lodge a cash deposit with the DRD sufficient to cover DRD’s costs of carrying out additional necessary works
  • indemnify DRD against any claim arising as a result of the building
  • erect within a specified time period

Additional conditions may be attached depending in the individual project.

Conditions of the licence are binding on future owners, leasees and occupiers of the building, so you are advised to seek legal advice.

Fines and penalties

You may be fined up to £1,000 if you carry out works without a licence from DRD.