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Pavement Cafe Licences

The government has introduced the Business and Planning Act 2020. This will help to streamline the process for businesses such as cafes, restaurants and bars to obtain a licence to place furniture on the highway adjacent to premises; the licences will be known as pavement cafe licences.

The following businesses are deemed eligible to apply for these licences: 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.

Any applications submitted for a proposed pavement cafe licence to be used on the public highway must be able to leave a two-metre gap for pedestrians to pass by. The two-metre gap must be from the kerbline and any street furniture to the edge of your proposed pavement cafe. 

Social distancing guidelines produced by the government must be adhered to; please see the government's COVID-19 secure: safer public places guidance, which provides owners and operators of public spaces with information and examples of measures that may be undertaken to adapt and manage public spaces in order to help social distancing. There is also the keeping workers and customers safe during COVID-19 guidance, which should be considered as well.

The following furniture may be used:

  • Counters or stalls for selling or serving food or drink,
  • Tables, counters or shelves on which food or drink can be placed,
  • Chairs, benches or other forms of seating,
  • Umbrellas, barriers, heaters and other articles used in connection with the outdoor consumption of food or drink.

If you are considering applying for a pavement cafe licence, you are advised to read our Guidance and Conditions of Licence document as this has further information and guidance.

Please contact us via email for more advice.

What is required?

You should provide us with a draft plan of the proposed pavement cafe before applying, so we can check the validity of this before you submit your application. It will need to include the following:

  • It must identify the location of the building line and kerbline adjacent to the proposal or the opposite building line in a pedestrianised street, together with dimensions the area for tables and chairs.
  • The plans should also show any entrances to premises within or adjacent to this area plus that area which is a private forecourt, location of trees, lampposts and other street furniture.
  • An example plan can be found in our guidance document on section 3.2.

Further to your plan you would also need the following documents;

  • A completed application form,
  • The fee of £100, this can be made by bank card over the phone,
  • Public liability insurance certificate, providing cover of £5 million, this must explicitly state that the proposed outside area on the public highway is included,
  • A layout plan following the sample plan guidance, submitted plans will be assessed on a case by case basis,
  • Details of the furniture, including quantity, material composition, drawings and photos,
  • Evidence of where the furniture will be stored,
  • If space heaters are being used, a full risk assessment must be provided,
  • Written consent from neighbouring premises if you propose to use their frontage.

Application process

Once you have all the have all the required documents, If you wish for us to check your application and supporting documentation before it is submitted, please email us and we will be able to advise you. If you are satisfied that the documents are correct, please follow the application procedure below:

  • To formally submit your application, please email us the application and all supporting documents.
  • Once the pavement cafe licence application has been submitted, you will be contacted for payment. Please provide a phone number for us to contact you on to take this payment over the phone via bank card. Please note that your application will not be deemed accepted until payment is received.
  • You will then receive a confirmation email that the application has been accepted.
  • On the same day the application form is submitted, a public notice must be displayed on the premises for a total of seven days starting the day the application has been submitted.
  • Please note that if any valid representations are received, this may result in changes to your application or the refusal of the request in its entirety.
  • After the seven-day public consultation period, St Helens Borough Council then has seven days starting the day after the end of the consultation to consider and determine the licence. If the council does not determine your application in this time period, the licence is deemed granted.
  • You will be issued with a licence for the pavement cafe area, a copy of this must be displayed at the premises. The licence will include a list of the standard conditions which must be adhered to.

Granted licences

Once granted, pavement cafe licences will be valid until 30 September 2021. All granted licences will have to adhere to the standard conditions issued by the council.

Current applications

Our public register has all of the current applications we have on deposit.