Information for applying for the new Pavement Licence
We are keen to support local businesses by offering the opportunity to extend their dining facilities out on the public highway with consent for tables and chairs.
Please read the Pavement Licence Conditions before submitting your application.
How do I apply for a Pavement Licence?
Any business wishing to obtain a Pavement Licence should review the Pavement Licence conditions (see below) before submitting an application. You will need to complete an application form and email it to email@example.com together with all the required supporting documents.
The Pavement Licence Conditions must be read before submitting your application. In some cases, extra measures may be required. This will be determined when assessing any application, on a case by case basis.
Where a local authority sets a local condition that covers the same matter as set out in national published conditions, then the locally set condition takes precedence over the national condition where there is reasonable justification to do so, with the exception of the statutory no-obstruction condition which applies to all Licences.
How long will it take to get a licence?
Once the application is submitted there are 14 days from the day after the application is made (excluding public holidays) to consult on and determine the application.
The details of your application will be published on our website and the public will have seven days to make their representations.
After this consultation period, we will then have a further seven days to determine whether or not to grant the licence. If a decision is not made in time, the licence will automatically be treated as being deemed granted subject to the standard conditions.
How much will a licence cost?
The fee for a Pavement Licence is £100 however we are offering businesses a 'try before your buy' scheme which will allow the payment to be deferred for the first three months, once consent is granted. At the end of this period, the business can either pay the £100 fee or surrender their Licence.
The £100 application fee is not refundable if the application is refused, or if the licence is subsequently surrendered or revoked.
How long is the licence for?
The licence is valid until 30 September 2021. If you are looking for a permit that will be valid beyond 30 September 2021 then you can apply for a Tables and Chairs Licence under the Highway Act.
What businesses are eligible?
Any business that sells food or drink for consumption (on or off the premises) can apply for a licence such as: public houses, cafes, bars, restaurants, snack bars, coffee shops, ice cream parlours and where such uses form an ancillary aspect of another use, for example supermarket cafes, or entertainment venues which sell food and drink.
What furniture can be permitted by a licence?
Furniture cannot be a permanent fixed structure and must be removed and stored away in the evening such as:
- counters or stalls for selling or serving food or drink;
- tables, counters or shelves on which food or drink can be placed;
- chairs, benches or other forms of seating; and
- umbrellas, barriers, heaters and other articles used in connection with the outdoor consumption of food or drink.
What information does an applicant need to provide?
You will need to submit:
- A completed application form;
- Payment of the appropriate fee (deferred for 3 months);
- A plan showing the premises and the location and size of the outside area being requested, with the table positions indicated on the plan (if not to scale then clear measurements must be provided);
- Details, photos or brochures of the proposed furniture; and
- A risk assessment
Your application will not be complete until all documents and any required payment are received.
Who will be consulted?
The day after your application and supporting documents are submitted, you will need to display a notice on your premises in a prominent and clear position for seven days. During this time the public can comment on your application.
You will also receive a site visit from Council staff to check that it is suitable. We will also consult with other organisations such as the local Highway Authority, Police, Environmental Health, Neighbourhood Services, Planning, Ward Councillors and Parish/Town Councils.
Following the public consultation, the Council then has seven days to decide to either consent or reject the application.
How do I display the public consultation Notice?
You are required to affix a notice to the premises, so it is easily visible and legible to the public. This would most likely be in your shop window but if you have shutters you may also need to place a copy outside the premises.
You must ensure the notice remains in place for the full consultation period of seven days starting the day after the application is submitted. To ensure that this is done and to limit the risk of complaints applicants are encouraged to keep evidence of this.
Who should undertake the risk assessment?
The risk assessment is a requirement of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. It should be carried out by a competent person (someone who has knowledge of the law, British Standards, and Health and Safety Executive Codes of Practice and Guidance). This could be the Health and Safety Officer or representative of the business or an appointed third party.
What will the Council consider when making the decision?
We will need to consider a number of factors when determining whether to approve the application. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Is the highway suitable for tables and chairs - surface material will they be safe to use?
- Will the placement of tables and chairs cause an obstruction on the highway or to adjacent properties?
- Will placing tables and chairs on the highway cause difficulties in queuing to use shops/ will it prevent people being able to maintain social distancing when the roads and paths are narrowed/obstructed?
- Will tables and chairs cause safety implications for the public including the visually impaired and disabled?
- Will the proposed use create nuisance to neighbouring occupiers by generating anti-social behaviour and litter?
- If two premises are adjoining one another and they both want to place tables and chairs out, how can they work with social distancing?
- Does the premises have any restrictions on their Licensing Act 2003 premises licence that may prevent the use of an outside area?
- Does the premises have another external area they can use instead of the highway etc?
How long are pavement licenses valid for?
Pavement Licenses are a temporary measure in response to COVID-19 and will not be valid after 30 September 2021. However, if licence conditions are not met then it can be revoked at any time.
Will I definitely be allowed to place my tables and chairs out on the highway?
Every request for a Pavement Licence will need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. We cannot say that all premises locations will be suitable for placing furniture on the street. Consultation with the local highway authority, Hampshire County Council, is part of this process. We will try to accommodate requests but need to ensure social distancing and public safety is maintained.
Will we take enforcement action?
We are keen to work with businesses to get things right in this ‘new normal’, so enforcement action or revocation of the licence would only be necessary if there was a breach of the conditions it was issued under, if complaints were received and could not be resolved or if there is a risk to public health or safety, for example by encouraging users to breach government guidance on social distancing by placing tables and chairs too close together.
The licence can also be revoked where all or any part of the area of the relevant highway which is being used has become unsuitable. For example, the licensed area (or road adjacent) is no longer to be pedestrianised.
If a condition imposed on a licence is breached, a notice requiring the breach to be remedied may be issued and action to cover costs may be taken.
If a business does not have either a valid Tables and Chairs Licence or a Pavement Licence then we can take action to remove items from the highway.
Can alcohol be consumed in the outside area?
It is important to note the grant of a Pavement Licence only permits the placing of furniture 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.
The Business and Planning Act 2020 allows licence holders, with a valid licence to sell alcohol on their premises, to temporarily extend this to include off premises, so customers can enjoy a drink off premises. There are some exceptions to this, for example if an application for 'off sales' licence has recently been refused, and so you should seek advice from the Licensing Team before you submit your application. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
There is not a statutory route to appeal but should you wish to appeal the decision the Council has an internal process which can be requested.
If you would like to discuss your application before you submit, please contact us at email@example.com or telephone 023 8068 8000.