In 2022 the government released draft guidance on pavement licences to facilitate the expansion of outdoor seating for businesses like cafes, pubs, and restaurants. The guidance outlines the process and criteria for obtaining a pavement licence, which allows businesses to use a section of the pavement for seating customers.
To be eligible for a pavement licence, businesses must meet specific requirements, including providing safe and non-obstructive seating, ensuring the minimum pedestrian footpath width is maintained, and abiding by specified hours of operation. The licence application process will be streamlined with a target of 10 working days for decisions, and a fee of up to £100 will be charged.
Local authorities will play a crucial role in implementing this guidance, as they are responsible for granting or refusing applications based on predefined criteria. They will also ensure businesses comply with licence conditions, including noise level restrictions and adherence to public health measures.
By introducing these pavement licences, the government aims to support hospitality businesses in their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, providing more outdoor seating options and encouraging the public to return to high streets and support local businesses.
Expiry of Guidance
The guidance on pavement licences is set to expire on 30 September 2023. However, it’s important to note that any licences granted before this date will remain valid until their specified end date or 30 September 2023, whichever comes first. After the expiry date, businesses with existing licences should consult their local authority for further guidance on proceeding.
Local authorities may have rules and regulations for outdoor seating, which businesses should adhere to once the pavement licence guidance expires. Businesses are encouraged to stay informed about any changes or updates to local regulations and comply with those requirements to continue providing outdoor seating options for their customers.
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