Pavement café licences

Pavement licences (from 22/07/20)

The Business and Planning Act 2020 introduced a new licensing system for pavement licences, to allow premises to place removable furniture on the pavement or public highway for customers to use. This is in force from 22 July 2020. This effectively replaces the council's existing pavement licence regime, although any licence issued by the council and currently in force remains valid until that licence expires. For information on pavement licences issued before 22 July 2020 please see Pavement licences (issued before 22/07/20).

The council has a policy in place to set out how we will deal with applications, as well as setting out the standard conditions that will apply to all licences.

Only businesses which involve the sale of food and/or drink (including alcohol) can apply for a licence.

Applications are submitted online. Applications must be submitted with proof that you hold public liability insurance (minimum £5million cover) and a scale drawing of the proposed licensed area. All furniture, including barriers to mark out the licensed area, must be detailed on the application and must be approved by the council before being used.

The application fee is £100. Payment is made online as part of the application process.

A public notice advertising the application must be displayed on your premises on the day that the application is submitted to the council. This notice must remain on display for 7 consecutive days, and must be visible at all times of the day from outside of the premises. If there are any problems with the display of a notice, the council may need to restart the consultation period.

Applications will be refused if granting the licence would result in:

  • unnecessary obstruction of the highway
  • unnecessary obstruction of the premises or neighbouring premises
  • preventing statutory undertakers (such as utility companies) or communication network operators from having access to equipment either in, on, or over the highway

When considering if an application will cause unnecessary obstruction of the highway, the council's policy is that at least 2.5m of pavement must be left available for pedestrians to use once once the pavement licence is in place.

The council are required to confirm the decision of an application within 7 days of the consultation period ending.

If an application is granted, the licence will remain in force until 30 September 2021, which is when this legislation is due to expire.

Tacit consent does apply, meaning that if the council has not determined an application within 14 days of it being submitted, it is automatically granted. Any licence granted under tacit consent will still be subject to the standard licence conditions, but will only be in force for 12 months.

Under our policy, any party aggrieved at the decision to grant or refuse a licence may appeal informally to the council for the decision to be reviewed by a senior officer. Any such appeal must be made in writing within 21 days of being informed of the decision.

Any complaints about the operation of a pavement licence should be made to the licensing team in the first instance.

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