Pavement licences extended to help the hospitality industry

10 September 2021

In an effort to help the hospitality industry recover, the Government has extended pavement licences for a further 12 months, until 30 September 2022, making it easier and cheaper for pubs, restaurants and cafes to serve people outside.

A fast track application can be used to put removable furniture on the highway adjacent to the premises. Premises who would benefit from this licence include pubs, cafes, bars, restaurants or other drinking establishments, and premises for the sale of food for consumption on or off the premises. However, it should be noted that a pavement licence only gives permission for the placing of removable furniture on the highway; other regulatory frameworks still apply i.e. the requirement for a premises/alcohol licence and the need to comply with food business registration requirements.

Making an application for a pavement licence

You will need to provide the following with your application:

  1. A detailed plan of the external areas showing dimensions, width, depth of area to be licensed and distance to the nearest street furniture and kerb plus details of the furniture to be used, any barriers, umbrellas etc.
  2. If you are applying for a pavement licence to be located in front of an adjacent premises you must provide written consent from the owner/occupier of the adjacent premise with your application
  3. Specify the days of the week and times that you will have the furniture on the street and where it is to be stored overnight
  4. Proof of public liability insurance to cover activities on the street
  5. In line with HSE Guidance, you will be required to carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment to ensure you can trade safely and comply with the government's safe working and social distancing guidelines.
  6. Application fee of £100

Once the application is submitted there is a 5 working day consultation period beginning the day after the day the application is made followed by 2 working days for the Local Authority to consider and determine the application after the consultation.

If no representations are made within 10 working days the application will deemed to be granted until 30 September 2022.

Before applying for a pavement licence

Before applying consideration should be given to:

  1. Whether you have adequate outside space to use? There is an obligation on the Local Authority to meet the requirements of Social Distancing and the Disability Discrimination Act 2005. This means that if you intend to occupy pavement space there must be a minimum 1.5m unobstructed space between the outer edge of your tables and chairs space and the edge of the pavement or to the edge of another obstruction. This should be 2m on areas of high footfall but each case will be considered on its merits.
  2. You will need to consider social distancing inside the area where you place your tables and chairs as you will be required to maintain suitable social distancing measures in line with current government guidance. You should ensure any queue or the serving of customers does not impact on the adjacent pavement area.
  3. You need to be mindful of any other businesses in the close vicinity of yours that might also be using the public space during their trading hours. There will need to be clear separation between your business and other businesses in line with current government guidance.

We would be happy to discuss this further with you. Please contact Karen Lolotte on 01473 299140 / [email protected], or Julie Gowland on 01603 756413 / [email protected]

The content of this article is for general information only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. If you require any further information in relation to this article please contact the author in the first instance. Law covered as at September 2021.


Julie Gowland

Legal Director

+44 (0)1603 756413

+44 (0)7827 747070


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