Pavement licence (outdoor seating proposal)

About the pavement licence

Many businesses had to stop trading for several months during the covid pandemic, and others had to significantly modify their operations.

The Business and Planning Act 2020 ( introduced a number of urgent measures to help businesses selling food and drink to recover and to temporarily ease some of the legislative requirements in relation to planning and licensing.

This new act allows district councils to develop a fast-track process to assess and determine whether a pavement licence can be granted or not, for the period from now up to 30 September 2023.

In addition to Business and Planning Act 2020, Guidance: pavement licences (outdoor seating proposal) (GOV.UK) provides further details.

What does this mean?

Our aim is to help promote vibrant and diverse areas of our local area for people to enjoy.

To support local businesses such as cafes, pubs and restaurants to sell food and drink, and in line with the government position, the council has introduced a new procedure for these businesses to obtain permission, in the form of a 'pavement licence', so that furniture, such as tables and chairs, can be placed on the public highway outside their premises.

This licence is not applicable for private land not on the highway; you need separate permissions for this.

Social distancing guidelines will remain in place, where directed by government guidance.

Pavement licences will be granted for up to a maximum of one year but will expire no later than 30 September 2024.

The granting of a pavement licence only allows furniture to be placed on the highway. Other regulatory frameworks still apply, such as the need for alcohol licences and the need to comply with registration requirements for food businesses. If the applicant has a licence to serve alcohol on the premises, temporary amendments have been made to the Licensing Act 2003, through the Business and Planning Act 2020, to allow them to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises temporarily, without applying for a variation of the premises licence. More details: Guidance for temporary alcohol licensing provisions in the Business and Planning Act (GOV.UK)


If your pavement licence application is approved, an administration fee of £100 will be payable to the council within four weeks of your approval date.

Further information

If you want to find out more, please read our full terms and conditions and how to make an application, or for an informal chat about the licence, please speak to Mark Hryniw, Town Centre Manager on 01455 255755 or complete our cultural services contact form

Last updated: ‎25/09/2023 15:56