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For street-facing pubs, cafés and restaurants, the land immediately outside the premises can sometimes be used for additional seating. This not only helps increase the number of customers you can host, but also serves to bring more attention to your business to attract more visitors.

In this video, our Senior Partner & Head of Licensing, Andrew Cochrane, visits a closed pub due for refurbishment and showcases how it will apply for a pavement licence to make the best use of its outdoor space.

Andrew discusses:

  • How to go about getting permission to use an external area
  • What is required for the pavement licence application
  • Planning the proposed area
  • Public liability insurance requirements
  • Proposed furniture
  • Proposed barriers and branding considerations
  • Disability access
  • The application process itself, including notices and fees
  • Upcoming changes to the procedure

Key considerations for planning a new outdoor area

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 variation.

In addition to allowing your customers to consume alcohol outside, you may also 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.

Making a pavement licence application

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.

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