You might have seen in the news that changes have been proposed to legislation to speed up pavement licencing with the aim of enabling businesses to secure licences by this Summer. The Business and Planning Bill is due to be considered in the House of Lords on 6 July with the potential to gain Royal Assent shortly afterwards.
The licences will be available for pubs, bars or other drinking establishments, and for the sale of food or drink for consumption on or off the premises.
Licences will remain in place for between 3-12 months (depending on the local authority’s decision), but not beyond September 2021. Also, the licence would constitute deemed planning permission for any works by the licence-holder which would previously have required planning permission.
What is allowed?
The following types of removable furniture would be permitted:
• Counters or stalls for selling 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 in connection with the outdoor consumption of food or drink.
All must be removable, unfixed and stored away on an evening.
What do you need to apply?
The fees will be set locally but will be capped at £100. Some authorities have already waived fees for licences.
The following will need to be specified in applications:
• the type of furniture being proposed
• the relevant highway
• the premises
• the days of the week and times of day that the pavement licence will cover
• evidence of public liability insurance
The local authority can also request additional information it deems necessary evidence including plans, lease documents, photos and specifications of the proposed furniture and details of how it will be arranged.
The local authority will publicise the application and allow representations for 7 days after the application is received (a reduction from 28 days currently). A notice of the application will need to be displayed on the premises so that it can be easily read by passing members of the public from outside the premises for 7 days. The local authority will also consult the highway authority and any other relevant person deemed appropriate.
Following the end of the consultation period, the local authority has a further 7 days to determine the application and if they fail to determine the application within the 7 days, it will be deemed to have been granted.
If you have already submitted an application for a pavement licence, you can substitute that application for a new application under the new rules, a fee would not be charged and the original application would be treated as withdrawn.
If you need any further advice, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance and help with applications.