Pavement licence

A pavement licence allows the licence-holder to place removable furniture in some outdoor spaces next to their premises.

Business and Planning Act 2020

The Business and Planning Act, published on 22 July 2020, incorporates a range of provisions to assist  businesses as they reopen in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes:

A new “Pavement Licence” regime, administered by us, designed to make it easier for premises in England, serving food and drink such as bars, restaurants and pubs to seat and serve customers outdoors through temporary changes to planning procedures and alcohol licensing.


The measures in the Act are designed to support businesses selling food and drink such as cafes, pubs and restaurants by introducing a temporary fast-track process for these businesses to obtain permission, in the form of a “pavement licence”, from us for the placement of furniture such as tables and chairs on the pavement outside their premises whilst adhering to social distancing guidelines. Consent can be issued for a minimum of three months, with the provisions ceasing to have effect on 30 September 2021.

The Act includes enforcement and revocation powers, as well as a series of local and national conditions which can be attached to licences so that the council can protect public safety and amenity, and introduces a new 14-day determination period, ensuring that businesses can obtain licences in a timely and cost-effective manner.

In exercising its functions the local authority must have regard to any guidance issued under the Act. Applicants are advised to read our Pavement Licence Policy to help to inform the process.  

Read the government issued guidance along with our pavement licence policy before applying.