Pavement café licence or pavement licence

Pavement café licence - Highways Act 1980

To put tables, chairs or other furniture on the pavement outside your cafe or restaurant for customer use (if the pavement is part of the public highway) apply for a pavement cafe licence. The term 'public highway' includes roads, pavements and verges.

Pavement licence - Highways Act 1980

To put sales or display materials outside your premises on the public highway, apply for a Pavement Licence. 

Pavement licence - Business and Planning Act 2020

Under this application, you will have a 7 day consultation period and licences can be applied for three, six or twelve months.

No planning permission is required but licences are only valid up to and including 30 September 2021, thereafter all applications must be submitted under the Highways Act 1980.

Check for planning permission under the Highways Act 1980

It is important to note that you may also need planning permission for the change of the use of the highway to a pavement cafe. This applies even if you already operate food premises adjacent to the site.

You need to check with the Local Planning Authority before you submit a pavement café licence application. You can do this by email to

The application process


  • inspect the area to make sure that no obstruction or nuisance could be caused to others
  • consider the affect of possible noise disturbance for local residents and other business owners.

It takes around two months for an application to be approved, which includes a 28 day statutory notice period (Highways Act 1980) for public objections to the application.

It takes 14 days for an application to be approved, which includes a 7 day statutory notice period (Business and Planning Act 2020) for public objections to the application.

Who can apply

Businesses who hold £5 million public liability insurance can apply for a licence.

You do not need a licence if:

  • you own a section of the pavement outside your premises


  • the area does not include any public highway.

If you are in doubt about whether you need a licence, please email

Fees - Highways Act 1980

  • new application: £250 for one year
  • renewal application: £150 for one year

Fees - Business and Planning Act 2020 (up to September 2021)

  • new application: £100 for one year
  • three month application: £25
  • six month application: £50

Changes to a licence

Complete a new application if you want to make changes to an existing licence.

Useful contacts

Highways Support Team: 
01202 454896

Customer Service Planning Team:
01202 451323

Page last updated: 28 July 2020
Help us improve
This is just for feedback on our website, not comments or questions about our services. Feedback on services will not be passed on. To tell us anything else, contact us.

Please don't include any personal or financial information.