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Pavement Licence guidance

Introduction

A business which uses or proposes to use premises for the sale of food or drink for consumption on or off the premises can apply for a pavement licence.

A pavement licence is a licence granted by the local authority, or deemed to have been granted, which allows the licence-holder to place removable furniture over certain highways adjacent to the premises in relation to which the application was made. A licence permits the business to use furniture placed on the highway 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. These licences will remain in place for a year but not beyond 30 September 2022. Where a pavement licence is granted, clear access routes on the highway will need to be maintained, taking into account the needs of all users, including disabled people.

This new process introduces a streamlined route for businesses to secure a licence to place furniture on the highway and support them to operate safely while social distancing measures remain in place. It is important that the local authority controls the positioning of items within the highway so that everyone can benefit. Without controls, these items may cause an obstruction or unnecessary hazards to the public, which would be unacceptable.

A business which uses (or proposes to use) 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, cafes, bars, restaurants, snack bars, coffee shops, and ice cream parlours including where such uses form an ancillary aspect of another use, for example supermarkets, or entertainment venues which sell food and drink.

A licence permits the business to use furniture placed on the highway 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.

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 licenses and the need to comply with registration requirements for food businesses.

This guidance does not apply where a business has its own forecourt adjacent to the highway. However, it is advisable to check whether planning consent is required for any in such places by contacting the Planning Authority.

The removable furniture which may be used:

  • counters or stalls for selling or serving food or drink;
  • tables, counters or shelves on which food or drink can be placed;
  • hairs, benches or other forms of seating; and
  • umbrellas, barriers, to enclose the licensed area.

This furniture is required to be removable this means it is not a permanent fixed structure, and is able to be moved and stored away outside of permitted hours. Removable furniture shall be of a high quality construction, be stable, freestanding and suitable for the surface on which they are positioned.

Display furniture for goods on sale should be stable and suitable for the surface on which they are being used and robust enough not to be easily moved or displaced.

 

Objectives

  • Support local businesses by ensuring compliance with new legislation;
  • Ensure public safety by preventing obstruction of the highway;
  • Ensure access to the highway and highway furniture;
  • Ensure that powers contained with the Business & Planning Act 2020 are applied fairly and consistently.

 

Liability

The local authority has duties and responsibilities to ensure public safety and unobstructed passage along the highway. Any liability arising from an incident involving removable furniture remains firmly with the pavement licence holder as the owner of these items.

The pavement licence holder shall provide Public Liability insurance cover for the pavement licence and shall indemnify the local authority against all claims in respect of injury, damage or loss arising out of the granting of permission, (e.g. damage to the highway or highway furniture) to a minimum value of £5,000,000 unless such claims arise out of the local authorities own negligence.