The government have introduced a new temporary Pavement Licence to assist businesses with their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It allows a business to place removable furniture on the highway adjacent to their premises for customers to consume food and drink purchased from the business.
The legislation currently being considered by Parliament that will introduce a permanent pavement licensing regime for district councils has been delayed. As it will not now be enacted prior to current pavement licences expiring on 30/09/2023, the current temporary regulations have been extended for a further 12 months.
If your premises has been issued a pavement licence with an expiry date of September 2023, you will need to submit a new request and the appropriate fee to obtain the extended date of September 2024.
Street cafe licensing
Pavement licences are restricted to immediately outside the premises concerned. Seating areas away from the premises will need to obtain a street café licence from Hertfordshire County Council.
How does the process work?
Once a completed application, including all required information and the application fee, is received there will be a public consultation period of five working days beginning with the first working day after the application is received electronically by the Council.
At the end of the public consultation period, there is a further determination period of five working days (beginning with the first day after the end of the public consultation period).
If we do not determine the application within the determination period, it is deemed automatically granted for a period of one year (but not beyond 30 September 2024), subject to the standard conditions.
What businesses are eligible?
A business which uses premises for the sale of food or drink for consumption on or off the premises can apply for a licence.
Businesses that are eligible include:
- Public houses
- Snack bars
- Coffee shops
- Ice cream parlours
- Businesses where the consumption of food or drink is ancillary to the normal business use e.g. supermarkets
The furniture that may be used is:
- 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
- Umbrellas, barriers, heaters and other articles used in connection with the outdoor consumption of food and drink
The furniture is required to removable and must be removed from the highway outside of the hours permitted by the licence. No fixings into the highway are permitted that would disturb the existing surface.
What is a highway?
Licences can only be granted in respect of highways listed in section 115A(1) of the Highways Act 1980. Generally these are footpaths restricted to pedestrians or are rods and places to which vehicle access is restricted or prohibited.
What about licensing and planning permission?
Once a pavement licence is granted the licence holder will also benefit from deemed planning permission to use the land for that purpose whilst the licence is valid.
The sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises would need to be authorised by the premises licence to allow alcohol to be consumed in the outdoor seating area.
How long are the licences valid for?
A licence granted by the council will last until 30 September 2024 or until the current expiry date of an existing licence which has not been reapplied for, unless subsequently surrendered, suspended or revoked so there will be no renewal process.
The new legislation currently being considered by Parliament that will introduce a permanent pavement licensing regime for district councils has been delayed, updates will be provided when available.
The fee is an application fee and is non-refundable if the application is unsuccessful or the licence is subsequently surrendered, suspended or revoked the fee will not be refunded.
How to apply
You must submit the application form provided below to email@example.com.
The application must be accompanied by:
- A location plan - showing the location of the premises edged by a red line so the premises the application refers to can be clearly identified
- A site plan - showing the area adjacent to the premises where the furniture will be placed, it should also show the overall dimensions including measurements of the gaps between the area and the edge of the pavement
- Details of the proposed furniture
- Proof of public liability insurance
- Proof that the site notice has been displayed (a template for the site notice is attached below)
- Payment of the £100 fee using the Council’s online payment portal
If any of the above requirements are not fulfilled the application will not be deemed as complete and the application process will not commence.
If any of the requirements are missing or do not meet the criteria, you must provide the documentation within 5 working days of your initial date of submission or your application will be refused.
If your application is refused, you will be required to submit a new application and fee.
Once a completed application & fee has been received, the consultation process will commence as detailed above.
A pavement licence will cost a one-off fee of £100 that can be made using the Council’s online payment portal.
Who does the Council consult?
The Council must consult with the Highways Authority and may also consult the local police.
Can the public object?
As part of the application process a public notice must be displayed at the premises and the application will be published on the Council’s licensing register.
The public may make representations either by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or submitting an objection directly on the licensing register.
Published below is a list of standard conditions that will be attached to all pavement licences.
We may also impose additional site specific conditions where it would be proportionate and reasonable to address specific concerns.
Further information can be found on GOV.UK.