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Pavement licence

Businesses can apply for a pavement licence which permits them to use furniture on the highway for selling and consuming food and drink.

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. Businesses that are eligible include:

  • Public houses
  • Cafes
  • Bars
  • Restaurants
  • Snack bars
  • Coffee shops
  • Ice cream parlours
  • Also businesses where food and drink sales are ancillary to their main trade, such as supermarkets and 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 allow it to be used by people for consumption of food or drink supplied from, or in connection with the use of the premises.

Businesses that do not use their premises for the sale of food or drink - salons for example - are not eligible for this licence. Though they can apply for permission to place furniture on the pavement under the Highways Act 1980.

How to apply for, change or renew a pavement licence

Please use the quick link at the top of this page for the online form to apply for a licence, make a change to your licence or renew an existing licence.

If you have any difficulties using the form please email [email protected].

Before applying we advise you to read our standard conditions for pavement licences.

It is important to note that being granted a pavement licence only permits the placing of furniture on the highway. Businesses must also comply with other regulations, such as alcohol licencing and registration requirements for food businesses.

Any businesses which apply for a pavement licence also need to carry out their duties under the Equality Act 2010, such as their duty under section 29 of the Act not to discriminate in providing their service, and the duty to make reasonable adjustments.

Statutory Guidance issued by Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities: Pavement licences: guidance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

A pavement licence costs £500 for a new application or £350 for a renewal application.

The furniture which may be placed on the pavement includes:

  • 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
  • Other items such as umbrellas, barriers, heaters used in connection with the outdoor consumption of food or drink

This furniture must be removable and not a permanent fixed structure. All items should be able to be moved easily and stored away at night.

Furniture that is non-removable being used in connection with the outdoor selling or consumption of food or drink, is not covered by the pavement licence.

Applicants that wish to place non-removable furniture onto the highway must apply for permission under the Highways Act 1980.

Advertising boards are not included in the definition of furniture. As well as needing consent under the Highways Act 1980, advertising boards also require express advertising consent under the Town and Country Planning Regulations 2007.

For alcohol to be sold or consumed within the Licensed Area you need to comply with the Licensing Act 2003 or the 'off sales' element of the Business and Planning Act 2020.

Temporary licencing amendments for alcohol consumption off the premises

A temporary amendment to the Licensing Act 2003, under the Business and Planning Act 2020, allows the sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises by eligible holders of an 'on-sale' licence without needing to apply for a variation of their licence.

The temporary amendment applies if the premises had a licence that permitted sales of alcohol only for consumption on the premises on 22 July 2020, and the premises still retain that licence. The temporary amendment is in place until 31 March 2025. It will remain legally independent and separate from the pavement licences process.

You will need to provide written evidence and permission from the landlord to have a street café outside your premises. If there are any residential flats directly above your property you will need to provide written permission from the residents of that property. The written evidence will need to be uploaded at the end of the application – your application will not be accepted without this.

The form includes a question asking you to give details of your landlord and any residents so that the information provided can be verified.

You must also submit the following documents:

  • Public Liability Insurance for a minimum of £5million
  • A plan of the area – see street-cafe-sample-plan.pdf (leicester.gov.uk) for guidance on what should be included
  • Pictures of the tables, chairs, barriers that are to be used in the licensed area – this also includes any other items such as Outdoor Heaters
  • A copy of your photographic identification such as your passport or driving licence

Once your application is submitted and validated we will start the consultation process.

The Police, Noise Pollution Team, Planning and the Highways and Traffic Management Team will be consulted on the application – the representation period lasts for 14 days. We then have a further 14 days to determine your application.

We will notify those premises we deem to be materially affected about your application, and you will be required to place a notice on your premises advertising that the application has been made. The notice must be displayed as soon as it is received from Licensing.

If there are no objections, then the licence will be granted with standard conditions. If objections are received the Licensing Enforcement Team Manager or Licensing Manager will assess these and determine whether a licence can be granted, or your application refused. If granted, additional conditions may be attached to your licence, such as alterations to the hours or days requested or the number of tables and chairs or other furniture you can use.

Licences are granted for two years where no objections are received. Where objections are received the licence may be issued for a shorter term depending on the concerns raised.

If during the period of the licence, there are complaints or concerns, these will be investigated by the Licensing Enforcement Team in line with our enforcement policy. We regularly review licences and enforce any breaches.

If a condition imposed on a licence (either by us or nationally) is breached, we will issue a notice requiring the breach to be remedied. If the licence-holder fails to do so, we could:

  • amend the licence, with the consent of the licence-holder
  • revoke the licence, or
  • take steps to remedy the breach ourselves. We can take action to recover any costs.

We may revoke a licence, or amend it with the consent of the licence holder, in the following circumstances:

  1. If we consider that the highway is no longer suitable for the use as granted by or deemed to be granted by the licence. For example, the licenced area (or road adjacent) is no longer to be pedestrianised.
  2. If there is evidence that:
  • there are risks to public health or safety – for example where it comes to light that there are significant security risks which have not been sufficiently considered, or addressed in a proportionate fashion (Security risks are reassessed as necessary, particularly in the event of changes to the terrorism threat level)
  • this use of the highway is causing an unacceptable obstruction, breaching the no-obstruction condition – for example, the arrangement of street furniture prevents disabled people, older people or wheelchair users to pass along the highway or have normal access to the premises alongside the highway; or
  • the use is causing, or risks causing, anti-social behaviour or public nuisance – for example, the use is increasing the amount of noise generated late at night and litter is not being cleaned up.

We may also revoke a licence in the following circumstances:

  1. For a breach of condition, (whether a remediation notice has been issued or not) or
  2. It comes to light that the applicant provided false or misleading statements in their application – for example they are operating a stall selling hot food and had applied for tables and chairs on which drinks could be consumed, or
  3. The applicant did not comply with the requirement to affix the notice to notify the public of the application, or secure that the notice remains in place until the end of the public consultation period.

In cases where furniture which would normally be permitted by a pavement or other licence has been placed on a highway without the required licence, local authorities can give notice requiring the business to remove the furniture before a date specified and to refrain from putting furniture on the highway unless they gain a licence.

If furniture continues to be placed on the highway, in violation of the notice, local authorities may remove and store the furniture, recover the costs from the business for the removal and storage of the furniture and refuse to return the furniture until those costs have been paid. If within three months of the notice, the costs are not paid, the authority can dispose of the furniture by sale or other means and retain the proceeds.


Action Counters Terrorism (ACT) training

Street café licences now include a condition that the licence holder and appropriate members of staff shall complete ACT training. This online training is available free of charge and takes around 55 minutes to complete in one or multiple sessions. Once all units have been completed the candidate can print a certificate or save it electronically for future reference. It is recommended that the licence holder also retains copies of completion certificates.

The units cover:

  • Introduction to Terrorism
  • Identifying Security Vulnerabilities
  • How to Identify and Respond to Suspicious Behaviour
  • How to Identify and Deal with a Suspicious Item
  • What to do in the Event of a Bomb Threat
  • How to Respond to a Firearms or Weapons attack
  • Summary and Supporting Materials.

An additional section is also available under the same registration: ACT Security eLearning with enhanced and useful content.

To register for the course and find out more visit ACT Awareness eLearning - GOV.UK.

Have a question?

Please contact [email protected] for further information.