Application guidance notes - Commercial photography on the highway


Filming is referred hereto as commercial or professional filming or filming intended for public release. Generally such filming will involve at least 5 or more persons during the intended occupation of the highway. It does not include news crews.

There are two options available for filming on the highway depending upon the size and scale of the proposed filming. These are:

  1. Film Notices – A Film Notice will allow us to implement an urgent road closure (or part) for up to 5 days only, however there are no limits on the number that can be made per year. As part of a Film Notice, East Sussex Highways can also issue a licence permitting the placing and use of objects/structures on the highway for the purpose of filming
  2. Film Objects/Structures Licence – Where no road closure (or part) is required a licence can be issued permitting the placing and use of objects/structures on the highway for the purpose of filming

All of these options are covered under this application form and the accompanying terms and conditions. Officers will be able to assist the applicant in determining which option is appropriate for proposed filming.

You must obtain a licence from East Sussex Highways and where applicable a Film Notice before you can film on any part of the highway which includes all verges, footways and carriageways. Failure to obtain such licence and a Film Notice (as applicable) may constitute an obstruction and nuisance to the highway which is an offence under the Highways Act 1980. East Sussex County Council (ESCC) as the Highway Authority may prosecute you for such offence for which the maximum fine on conviction is £1,000 for each offence. ESCC may also take other associated legal action including, inter alia, injunctive relief against filming on the highway in East Sussex.

Application process

A completed application together with (a) the non-refundable application fee; (b) a copy of the response from the local Police (where applicable); and (c) a copy of a valid certificate of public liability insurance with a minimum cover of £10 million must be submitted to, and approved by, East Sussex Highways before you can film on any part of the highway. You should keep a copy of the submitted application.

A joint site meeting may be required. You will be advised in writing of the outcome of your application together with any additional conditions imposed.

Applying for a road closure and/or licence does not guarantee that a road closure and/or licence will be issued. The filming on the highway including any Film Notice and the licence for placing and use of objects and things will only be permitted on the highway if it does not cause an unreasonable nuisance or obstruction to the public, and there so are no reasonable convenient alternative arrangements which are of a less obstructive manner.

Applicants should note that any traffic management measures required by East Sussex Highways can only be undertaken by an accredited traffic management company. All traffic management must comply with Safety at Street Works and Road Works - A Code of Practice, the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions, and with Chapter 8 of the Traffic Signs Manual.

There is no right of appeal if your application is refused.

Cost of application

Charges for filming / photography will be applied to all applications, although East Sussex Highways reserves the right to reduce or waive these fees accordingly.

Conditions for film notices and licences

Standard conditions in this section will apply to all Filming Notices and/or licences to place and use objects associated with filming granted by East Sussex Highways. Additional conditions specific to individual circumstances may also be imposed by East Sussex Highways when granting the application.

Contact details

If you have any queries or require further information please contact us via:


Telephone: 0345 60 80 193

Post: East Sussex Highways, Network Management, Ringmer Depot, The Broyle, Ringmer, East Sussex BN8 5NP

Data protection

The personal data you provide on this form will be used by East Sussex County Council and East Sussex Highways to administer your licence. To protect public safety, this may include the use of sensitive personal data (criminal offences) to help assess whether you are a fit and proper person to hold a licence. We may occasionally share your personal data with other East Sussex County Council East Sussex Highways departments and with other bodies (notably Housing Benefits, the Police, Inland Revenue) for the purposes of protecting public money, preventing and detecting crime and/or fraud and ensuring public safety. Such sharing will only occur on a case-by-case basis where a justifiable purpose in line with legislation has been demonstrated. The information may also be used for internal training.