Under the Business and Planning Act 2020, a new pavement licensing scheme has been created to assist businesses to reopen whilst still enabling social distancing.
A business which uses (or proposes to use) premises for the sale of food or drink for consumption on the premises can apply for a pavement licence. Eligible businesses include public houses, cafes, bars, restaurants, snack bars, coffee shops and ice cream parlours.
A pavement licence permits the business to use furniture placed on the highway to sell or serve food or drink and/or to allow the space to be used by people for the consumption of food or drink supplied from, or in connection with the use of the premises.
The furniture which may be used:
- Counters or stalls for selling or serving food or drink
- Tables, counters or shelves on which food or drink can be placed
- Chairs, benches, or other forms of seating
- Barriers to delineate between the licensed area and the section of the pavement that is for the use of the public.
This furniture is required to be removable (not a permanent fixed structure) and is able to be moved easily and stored away off the highways of an evening.
Any application must be subject to consultation with the community as well as relevant council departments (e.g. highways department).
The consultation period is five working days (excluding public holidays).
Applications will be accepted for a tables and chairs display on land that is not adjacent to the business as well. In these cases, the internal consultation process will be longer.
This is a temporary measure to support businesses while social distancing measures may still be in place. As it is uncertain how long some form of social distancing measures will be in place for, the new process will remain in place until the end of September 2021.
For more detailed information you can view the pavement licence policy.
Please also note the conditions which are applicable to all pavement licences.
The applicant is required to display a notice of application to the premises, so it is easily visible and legible to the public on the day the application is submitted to the local authority.
You must ensure the notice remains in place for the public consultation period which is the period of five working days, beginning with the day after the day the application is submitted to the authority.
When counting working days public holidays are not included.