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Pavement Licence

A new Act called the Business and Planning Act 2020 has come into force with effect from 22 July 2020 and is intended to help hard hit businesses sectors get back to work safely and quickly.

To support hospitality businesses to operate safely, while social distancing measures remain in place, the Act has introduced a streamlined route for businesses such as restaurants, pubs and cafes to secure permission to place furniture on the highway and make it easier for them to serve food and drink for consumption off the premises. This is known as a Pavement Licence.

Eligibilty Criteria

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 licence. Businesses that are eligible include: public houses, cafes, bars, restaurants, snack bars, coffee shops, and ice cream parlours including where such uses form an ancillary aspect of another use, for example supermarkets, or entertainment venues which sell food and drink.

It is important to note the grant of a pavement licence only permits the placing of furniture on the highway to sell or serve food or drink and/or allow it to be used by people for consumption of food or drink supplied from, or in connection with the use of the premises.

Other regulatory frameworks still applies for alcohol sales and food registration but if you have a licence to serve alcohol on-premises, temporary amendments to the Licencing Act 2003, through the Business and Planning Act 2020, will allow you to  sell alcohol for consumption off the premises without needing to apply for a variation of your licence.

Application Evaluation procedure

The act requires local authorities to have regard to the needs of disabled people when considering whether to grant a Pavement Licence. The Act also requires reasonable provision to be made for outside seating where smoking is not permitted.

Applications are subject to public consultation and local authorities must take into account representations received from members of the public during the public consultation period which is the period of 7 days starting the day after a valid application is submitted (excluding public holidays).  The highway authority must also be consulted and any such other persons as the local authority considers appropriate. See below for application that are open for representation.

Licence holders in the areas for which we administer pavement licences will be required to comply with local conditions and any other reasonable conditions which may be imposed on granting the licence.

If a local authority determines an application before the end of the determination period (which is 7 days, beginning with the first day after the end of the public consultation period, excluding public holidays) the authority can specify the duration of the licence. If a licence is ‘deemed’ granted because the authority does not make a decision in the  period, then the licence will be valid for a year. However, if a licence deemed granted does not meet national or local conditions it may be revoked at any time on the grounds that it has breached the conditions. A licence granted or deemed to be granted will not be valid beyond 30 September 2021.

Consumer Complaint

If you are not happy with the service you should complain to the person who first dealt with the matter. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive at this stage you should then complain to the Head of Environmental Services giving details of your complaint. You can take the complaint a step further by writing to the Executive Director who will arrange for it to be investigated. Matters that relate to a service provided by officers of one of our partner licensing teams will be directed to that councils. You should receive a reply within 10 days, but if the matter is complex, or other organisations need to be contacted, it may take longer. But we will still let you know what action is being taken. You should give all the details of your complaint and say what you have done to try to get it put right.

If you are still not happy after using our own complaints procedure you can complain to the Local government Ombudsman. A free booklet is available from all council offices.

Other Redress

There is no statutory appeal process for these Pavement Licence decisions, however, councils have discretion to consider the scope for an internal review process, for example permitting appeals to their Licencing committee.

Address: CLAU is based at East Northamptonshire Council
Cedar Drive, Thrapston, Northamptonshire NN14 4LZ

Telephone: 01832 742102

Email: licensingunit@east-northamptonshire.gov.uk