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Pavement Licences

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.

Stroud District Council's Pavement Licensing Policy 

 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 2024. 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 are normally issued for one year. The Government brought in Pavement licences as a temporary provision during the Covid Pandemic but has subsequently extended it until a new permanent Pavement licence provision is introduced.  All current pavement licences will last until September 2024 which is the provisional end date for the temporary scheme. The expectation is that it will be replaced by a permanent Pavement Licence on this date or that the temporary scheme will be extended again. 

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

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