Extension of Pavement Licenses

Alfresco dining and drinking could become a permanent fixture in England after the government said it would extend “pavement licences” to aid the recovery of pubs, cafes and restaurants hit by the Covid 19 pandemic.

Pavement licences will be extended by a year until the end of September 2022, making it easier and cheaper for pubs, restaurants and cafes to continue to make alfresco dining a reality with outside seating, tables and street stalls to serve food and drinks. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said the change could become permanent, although that would require legislation. Pubs will also be given a 12-month extension to temporary off-licences, also granted during the pandemic, that allows them to sell takeaway pints and meals. 

Application of a New License

The regulations do not automatically extend licences that have been granted under the current provisions, so businesses will need to apply for a new licence if they wish to have one in place during the extended period. The process for applying for a licence under the extended period will remain unchanged.

All licences are subject to a 10-working-day determination period, including a five-working day public consultation period, excluding public holidays, starting the day after the application is sent electronically to the authority. If the local authority does not determine the application before the end of the determination period, the licence will be deemed to have been granted for a year or, if sooner, until 30th September 2022. The business can place the furniture, such as tables and chairs, within the area set out in the application for the purpose or purposes proposed.

Licence Application Fees

Licence application fees will be set locally but are capped at a maximum of £100. All licences will be subject to a national no-obstruction condition and smoke-free seating condition as well as any local conditions set by local authorities.

The grant of a pavement licence only covers the placing of furniture on the highway. A pavement licence does not negate the need to obtain approvals under other regulatory frameworks such as alcohol licensing. 

Once a licence is granted or deemed to be granted, the applicant will also benefit from deemed planning permission to use the highway land for anything done.

Here to Help

If you would like more information regarding the extension of alfresco dining and drinking or have questions surrounding pavement licenses, please contact our Hospitality and Leisure Team on 0161 941 400 or email the Hospitality and Leisure Team