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Pavement licence

What are the general conditions of licensing for pavement licences?

Pedestrian access and safety

  • Use of the public highway and other areas where there is public pedestrian access will not be allowed if they do not leave at least 2 metres clear unobstructed width on the passing side(s) of the permitted area.
  • Proposals which encourage pedestrians to cross vehicular carriageways where it is dangerous to do so will not be permitted.
  • Adequate access for emergency services and statutory undertakers must be available at all times.

Access to seating areas

  • Tables and chairs must be sufficiently spaced to enable wheelchair/highchair/pram access and to also conform with social distancing measures.
  • Physical barriers will be required to be placed around the tables in order to guide the visually impaired around the permitted area. Such barriers must be to a maximum height of 1500mm subject to the enclosure above 1000mm being translucent or clear.
  • It is a condition that clear routes of access along the highway must be maintained, taking into account the needs of disabled people, and the recommended minimum footway widths and distances required for access by mobility impaired and visually impaired people as set out in Section 3.1 of GOV.UK: Inclusive Mobility.

Provision for seating where smoking is not permitted

The national smoke-free seating condition seeks to ensure customers have greater choice, so that both smokers and non-smokers are able to sit outside, in order to protect public health by reducing risks of COVID transmission.

It is important that businesses can cater to their customers' preferences. The Business and Planning Act 2020 imposes a smoke-free seating condition in relation to licences where seating used for the purpose of consuming food or drink has been, or is to be, placed on the relevant highway. The condition requires a licence holder to make reasonable provision for seating where smoking is not permitted. This means that where businesses provide for smokers, customers will also have the option of sitting in a non-smoking area.

Management and other issues

  • The street café will be suitably managed by staff, i.e. to control the use of the outside area, to maintain the areas to as high a standard as is required inside the premises.
  • Tables, chairs and the outdoor area must be maintained in a tidy and orderly manner at all times.
  • Tables, chairs and other associated structures will have to be removed from public highway after trading hours. In addition street café furniture must not be stored on the highway.
  • Litter will be disposed of at regular intervals.
  • The area must be swept when necessary to keep it clear of litter and refuse. Spillages and breakages especially of glass and crockery must be cleared up immediately.
  • Where drinks are served in glasses they must be made of toughened or tempered safety glass.
  • The street café must be operated in a safe and efficient manner ensuring that there is no safety risk or nuisance caused to other users of the highway or nearby premises.
  • Amplified music will not be permitted.
  • The Council will not permit any fixtures or any excavation of any kind to the surface of the highway.
  • Every effort must be made to avoid causing damage to the highway or adjacent property. The cost of rectifying any damage to the highway surface or to street furniture caused by any activity connected with the street café operation will be recharged to the applicant.
  • The applicant is responsible for the satisfactory conduct of people within the street café. Rowdy or unruly behaviour may lead to the suspension or termination of the licence.
Last modified on 02 June 2023

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