A pavement licence allows businesses such as cafes, restaurants and bars to place removable furniture over certain highways adjacent to the premises for which the application was made, for certain purposes.
To support businesses, the government is introducing a simpler temporary licensing process for outdoor seating areas to be permitted on the Highway. Licences can only be granted in respect of highways listed in section 115A (1) Highways Act 1980. Generally, these are footpaths restricted to pedestrians or are roads and places to which vehicle access is restricted or prohibited. Highways maintained by Network Rail or over the Crown land are exempt (so a licence cannot be granted).
The licensing regime enables premises such as, but not limited to, pubs, restaurants and cafés to temporarily use the public highway. This is a fast-tracked system and the authority will determine an application within 14 days of receipt. This includes a 7-day consultation with relevant parties.
The furniture is required to be removable, not a permanent fixed structure, and be able to be moved easily and stored away on an evening.
Before granting a licence the local authority will consider the applicants ability to demonstrate:
- How clear routes of access along the highway will be maintained, taking into account the needs of disabled people, the recommended minimum footway width available.
- Proposed measures to reduce the likely impact of matters such as noise nuisance and litter.
- Proposed measures in place for social distancing and reducing the risk of the transmission of COVID-19.
A pavement licence only permits the placing of furniture on the highway. It does not override the requirements to have the correct alcohol licence or food registration in place.
Applications can only be made electronically via our website. We are unable to accept any application made any other way.