Street café licence
About street café licences
A licence is required to use a portion of a public street, road, or place for the sale of food and drink and for the placing of tables, chairs or other temporary furniture outside a restaurant or café for patrons to use whilst consuming food and drink.
Applications are made under the newly established regulatory requirements for pavement licenses as found in Part 1 of the Business and Planning Act 2020 and amended by The Business and Planning Act 2020 (Pavement Licenses) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2022.
This new process, which temporarily replaces the requirement for applications to be made under Section 115 of the Highways Act 1980, introduces a streamlined and cheaper route for businesses such as cafés, restaurants, and bars to secure a licence to place furniture on the highway. This will support businesses to operate and continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic to protect as many hospitality jobs as possible.
The Government has confirmed that legislation in relation to pavement licences has been extended and will be in effect until September 2023. The expiry date of current licences is not automatically extended, businesses will need to make a further application should they wish to continue to have a pavement licence until 2023.
Under this legislation, applications are required to be subject to a 7-day period of public consultation, which begins with the day after that on which the application is made. The application and associated information will be published on the Council website during the consultation period.
Applications must be made in writing and sent to the Council using electronic communications. An application can only be valid and formally made to the Council if it contains the information specified. Notice of the consultation period cannot be displayed until a full valid application is made.
In addition to National Conditions, Standard Conditions will apply to the licence as described here: Standard conditions of pavement licence consent.
Each application will be considered on its own merits and other conditions may be attached to a licence were considered appropriate. There is no appeal process provided for within the legislation.
Following the consultation period there is a 7-day determination period, during which the Council must consider any representations made during the consultation period and consult any persons the Council considers appropriate. After the end of the public consultation period the Council may only grant (wholly or in part), with or without conditions or reject a licence. The Council can make a specific determination as to the duration of the licence (which must be a minimum of three months) or it can leave the duration open ended in which case the licence will expire on 30 September 2023 (unless this backstop date is extended in the future by the Secretary of State).
Please note that approval is not automatic but to assist business at this difficult time, if suitable and sufficient insurance and risk assessments can be demonstrated immediately, we will accept that tables and chairs may be placed on the highway until formal approval has been obtained - but this is entirely at the risk of the applicant. Should the application fail for any reason, the applicant will be expected to vacate the highway.
Fees and charges
Whilst there is provision for the Council to recover an application fee of up to £100 for applications made under Business and Planning Act, in the current climate the Council will not seek to charge for applications for outdoor seating/pavement licenses at this moment in time.
Information required on application
- A plan showing a red edge around the location of the premises and clearly showing the area edged in blue that is subject to the proposed activity, including all measurements. The plan must show the positions and number of the proposed tables and chairs, together with any other items that they wish to place on the highway. The plan shall include clear measurements of, for example, pathway width/length, building width and any other fixed item in the proposed area (example shown here: Appendix F - Example plan [31kb])
- Details of the management arrangements for the licensed area.
- Proof of public liability insurance, including indemnification of the Council against all claims, injuries, or accidents, with cover up to £5 million.
- Evidence that the applicant has met the requirement to give notice of the application. (A notice of the template layout: Appendix D - Template Notice for applicants to display on application [351kb]) must be posted on the premises which states that a pavement licence application has been applied for). To assist the efficiency of the process the applicant is also required to consult the premises immediately adjacent to either side of their premises (using the template letter provided: Appendix E - Template Letter for applicants to post to adjacent premises [29kb])
- Reference to any existing licence currently under consideration by the Council (if applicable); and
- Any other evidence needed to demonstrate how any local and national conditions will be satisfied
You must read the application guidance notes before completing the application: Application for pavement licence - guidance notes
Complete the application form with all supporting documents.
What happens next?
We aim to process your application within the relevant seven day consultation period following submission of the application. We will contact you before the expiration of the seven day determination period to advise if your street café licence has been granted.
What may prevent me from having a licence?
Licences can only be granted under this process for use of the highway in connection with serving and consumption of food and drink.
You may not be able to have a street café licence if:
- your premises is on a bend or at a road junction
- tables and chairs will affect pedestrians or visibility
- your property is close to traffic signals
- there is insufficient footway width or area
- complaints and concerns have been raised regarding a previously granted licence
Can a licence be revoked?
Whilst not an exhaustive list, here are some of the reasons it may be necessary for the Council to revoke a licence:
- Some or all of the highway being used has become unsuitable
- As a result of the licence:
- there is a risk to public health or safety
- anti-social behaviour or public nuisance is caused
- the highway is being obstructed
- anything material stated by the licence holder was false or misleading
- the licence holder did not comply with the duty to fix and maintain a notice of the proposed application
- The licensee has breached any condition of the granted licence
Applications under consideration
In accordance with the Section 2(3) of Part 1 of the Business and Planning Act 2020 below are published a current list of applications under consultation.
Within the consultation period, representations may be made by email and sent to email@example.com.