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Before utilising the space outside your premises, you will firstly need to identify who owns the area.

If it is part of the public highway, you will need to seek permission from your local council, and you may also need to obtain planning consent for its change of use.

If the area you wish to use is included within your premises’ boundary, you should check your licence to determine whether alcohol is already permitted to be consumed in the proposed space. If not, then you will need to modify your licensing plan with a minor variation.

In addition to allowing your customers to consume alcohol outside, you may wish to sell it from an external bar. If your premises licence does not already permit you to do so, this will need to be added to your premises licence by making a major variation.

Applications to authorise the use of the pavement are known throughout the UK by several different terms, including a table and chairs licence; a pavement café licence; and a street café licence.

The application form, conditions, fees and who you make the application to also differ from authority-to-authority, making the whole process far from straightforward. However, our Licensing team has extensive experience of handling such applications throughout the country and are well placed to assist.

Applications to extend your range of licensable activities can take time to finalise. They may attract objections from local residents and be subject to questions from environmental health and the police.

Planning ahead will ensure that you are ready to make the most of the good weather when it arrives. If you wait for the sunshine to appear, it is highly likely that by the time your application has been authorised, winter will have returned.

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