The Business and Planning Act came into force on 22 July 2020 and introduces a new pavement licence as part of the Government's Covid 19 Recovery Plan. This licence can be applied for by food and drink businesses. If the licence is granted businesses such as pubs, restaurants and cafes can put removable furniture on the pavement adjacent to their premises in order to sell or serve food and drink, or for people to sit at to consume food and drink.
How long will the new licences be in place?
This is a temporary measure that was brought in to support businesses while social distancing measures were in place during the Covid Pandemic. The initial end date was end of September 2021. This was extended to end of September 2022 and has been further extended to end of September 2023. It is anticipated that the Government will replace the temporary provisions with permanent Pavement Licensing legislation.
Who can apply for a pavement licence?
A business which has sells food or drink for consumption (on or off the premises) can apply for a pavement licence. Businesses that are eligible include: public houses, cafes, bars, restaurants, snack bars, coffee shops, including where this is ancillary to another main another use, for example supermarkets, or entertainment venues which sell food and drink. The area of pavement must be adjacent to the business location.
What about businesses that have historically had chairs and tables on the Highway prior to the Covid Pandemic?
A business that had already regularly had chairs and tables on the Highway prior to the introduction of the temporary pavement licence legislation in 2020 have been given grandfather rights and allowed to continue to operate without the necessity to make a new application for a pavement licence under the temporary legislation
Such businesses are now being invited to take advantage of these grandfather rights and make a request to be issued a pavement licence under the temporary legislation.
If permanent licensing legislation comes into force all premises with chairs and tables on the Highway will have to meet any new requirements.
What does a pavement licence permit?
A pavement licence permits the business to place furniture on the pavement to sell or serve food or drink and/or allow it to be used by people for consumption of food or drink supplied from, or in connection with the use of the premises.
What furniture can be permitted by a pavement licence?
The furniture which 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; and
- umbrellas, barriers, heaters and other articles used in connection with the outdoor consumption of food or drink.
Can I serve alcohol outside?
If your business has a licence to serve alcohol for consumption on the premises, the Pavement Licence, will allow you to sell alcohol for consumption off the premises without needing to apply for a variation to your alcohol licence.
Do I need planning permission?
No. Once a licence is granted you will also benefit from deemed planning permission to use the land for anything done under the pavement licence.
Will street drinking bans still apply?
If you are in Stroud or Dursley, within the no street drinking zones, the street drinking ban will not apply for the area covered by the pavement licence. However, your customers will still not be able to drink alcohol in areas outside of the area covered by your pavement licence
How long are pavement licenses valid for?
Pavement licences issued after 30th September 2022 will expire on 30th September 2023. Any pavement licences that were issued prior to the Government extending the end date of the scheme are being invited to request to have their end date extended to 30th September 2023.
Will there be any conditions on the pavement licence?
Yes, there are two national conditions.
- a no-obstruction condition
- a smoke-free seating condition
Pavement licences issued by Stroud District Council will also have a number of local conditions attached. The full list of conditions is in Stroud District Council’s Policy
The Council may also apply specific conditions to a particular pavement licence if relevant
How do I apply?
1 Email the following documents to email@example.com
- Completed application Form. You can find the form here
- A location plan clearly showing the location of the premises and the part of the pavement to which the application relates shown by a red line
- A detailed plan clearly showing the proposed pavement area, if not to scale, with measurements clearly shown; and proposed positioning of furniture etc
- Public liability insurance that covers the pavement area.
- Photos or brochures showing the proposed type of furniture if appropriate.
2 Pay the application fee of £100. You can pay by clicking here
3 Put up a Notice – You can find the notice template here
- Once the application is fully submitted a 7-day public consultation period will start from the day after the application is valid. You must put up a notice at the site from the day the application is valid until the end of the consultation period. The Licensing Team will confirm the end date with you.
- You must photo and email a copy of the notice in ‘situ’ to firstname.lastname@example.org as evidence that you have met this requirement.
What happens next?
The Licensing Section will put a notice of your application on Stroud District Council’s website www.stroud.gov.uk
They must consult with Gloucestershire Highways and any other person, organisation or agency they consider relevant. These will normally be but are not exclusively
- Gloucestershire Highways
- Town or Parish Council
- Ward Councillors
- Gloucestershire Police
- Stroud District Council’s Environmental Protection Team
- Stroud District Council’s Health and Safety Team
- Stroud District Council’s Neighbourhood Warden
From the day after the consultation period ends the Licensing Team has 7 days to make a decision. If the Council fails to make a decision within the 7 days, the pavement licence will be deemed to be granted.
If the Licensing Team decides to refuse your application, you will be given full reasons. There is no statutory right of appeal.
What matters will be considered when making a decision?
When considering an application, the following will be considered
- public health and safety – for example, ensuring that uses conform with latest guidance on social distancing and any reasonable crowd management measures needed as a result of a licence being granted and businesses reopening;
- public amenity – will the proposed use create nuisance to neighbouring occupiers by generating anti-social behaviour and litter; and
- accessibility – taking a proportionate approach to considering the nature of the site in relation to which the application for a licence is made, its surroundings and its users, taking account of:
o whether there are other permanent street furniture or structures in place on the footway that already reduce access;
o the recommended minimum footway widths and distances required for access by mobility impaired and visually impaired people as set out in Section 3.1 of, Inclusive Mobility and
o other users of the space, for example, if there are high levels of pedestrian or cycle movements.
o the impact on any neighbouring premises;
o any other temporary measures in place that may be relevant to the proposal, for example, the reallocation of road space. This could include pedestrianised streets and any subsequent reallocation of this space to vehicles.