Planting on the public highway | Oxfordshire County Council

Planting on the public highway

Advice on what to do if you want to plant on areas of the public highway.

We will consider planting on the public highway provided that:

  • the proposals meet with our requirements as stated below and are approved by the council.
  • the type and siting of the planting does not differ from the approved scheme without our written consent.
  • recommended planting distances from the road edge of a minimum of three metres for shrubs and small trees and five metres for large forest trees are adhered to. Allowance may be made for some variation in specific situations eg use of ground cover material, urban areas, avenue planting.
  • you consult the utility companies listed below and pay for any alterations, or damage, caused to services during planting.
  • you consult adjoining landowner(s) concerning the proposals.
  • you agree to maintain the planting, eg trimming and pruning, so that it does not interfere with the highway visibility or in any other way become a source of nuisance or danger to users of the highway.
  • you hold a Public Liability Policy which indemnifies Oxfordshire County Council for at least £10m in case of any claim connected with the planting.
  • copies of the correspondence with utility companies and adjoining landowners are sent with the proposal.

Planting will be approved either by Agreement (Highways Act 1980 - Section 96) or by Licence (Highways Act 1980 - Section 142):

Depending on the type of agreement, ownership and maintenance of the planting will transfer to the county, district, town or parish council (Section 96)  or the frontager (Section 142) who will be responsible for maintenance.

The planting shall be removed at any time if so required by the Highway Authority, or any other organisation with statutory powers within the planted area. 

Other contacts

In Oxford City

For minor roads contact:

Parks Department
Oxford City Council
Tel: 01865 467267

The utility companies

  • Telecom: 01392 497678
  • Transco (Southern): 01689 881300
  • Transco (Northern): 0117 9536823
  • Southern Electric: 01865 845803
  • Midland Electric: 08457 353637
  • Thames Water: 01189 640494
  • Cable and Wireless: 01454 288697
  • Virgin Media: 0870 8883116
Last reviewed
06 June 2017
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