Apply for a pavement licence
How to apply for a licence from us if you want to place tables, chairs or other temporary furniture on the pavement.
If you are a business such as a pub, restaurant, wine bar or café you may need permission to have chairs and tables outside your premises for use by your customers.
About the process
We consider each application on individual merit. We will not process an application until you have given us all the information we need.
This also applies to variations and renewals.
Business and Planning Act
The Business and Planning Act (Pavement Licences) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2022 has extended the provisions of the Business and Planning Act 2020 until 30 September 2024.
This provides a streamlined and cheaper route for businesses such as cafes, restaurants and bars to secure a licence to place furniture on the highway.
The application process remains the same and we have up to 14 days to determine a valid application. This includes a mandatory 7 day public consultation period (excluding public holidays) starting the day after a valid application is made to us.
Your permit might include restrictions, for example on how big the furniture can be or where you can place it on the pavement.
You will probably have to meet other conditions, like leaving a certain width of pavement free for pedestrian traffic or marking the border of your seating area with metal studs.
Before you start
Before you apply, you need to read our:
The fee for a pavement licence is £100.
How to apply
To apply for a licence, you need to:
① Fill in an application form
Check our guidance on pavement licences
② Send the form to us
Email the completed form and supporting documents to email@example.com
③ Pay for your application
Make a payment of £100 (non-refundable).
Find how to pay
④ Display a public notice
Supporting documents to accompany your application
As part of your application, you will also need to provide:
- a scale plan, clearly showing the exact area the tables and chairs will be and the dimensions of all furniture
- a copy of your public liability insurance
- other supporting documents, such as photos of the furniture you are buying
- a copy of the public notice you have put up and a picture of it in-situ
You will need to email these to firstname.lastname@example.org
After you have applied
Once we receive your application, we will:
- acknowledge it within one working day
- advertise your application on our website
- allow people to make comments about or object to the application
- send letters to neighbouring shops and properties
- allow people to make representations or objections to the application
We will also send consultation letters and ask for comments from:
- Essex County Council Highways
- our planning team
- our environmental team
- any other relevant people
If we do not receive any comments or objections, we will grant the licence, subject to our standard conditions. If we do receive any comments or objections, we will consider them and may add further conditions or consider refusing your application.
Granting your application
If we grant your licence, we will monitor your café or restaurant, to make sure you are complying with the terms of the licence.
Your licence will be valid as shown on the licence for the timescale you have request not exceeding 12 months.
If we do not make a decision on your application with the 14 day period, your licence will be 'deemed granted'. It will still be subject to the standard conditions. If 'deemed granted', your licence will be valid for one year, starting from the first day after the 14 day application period.
After September 2024
If you wish to continue your licence after 30 September 2024, you need to apply in good time for a regular tables and chairs licence. You will need to allow at least 28 days.