Pavement licence and street cafe consent

Pavement licence (outdoor seating)

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Government introduced the Business and Planning Act 2020. This was to promote economic recovery and growth in the hospitality industry. 

A temporary provision was made to the Business and Planning Act. This provision allows businesses in England selling food or drink to obtain authorisation from the Local Authority to place tables and chairs on the highway adjacent to their premises. This is commonly called a ‘Fast Track Pavement Licence’. 

The temporary provision was originally due to expire on 30 September 2021. It was extended in 2022, 2023 and will now be extended again to expire on 30 September 2024. 

The fast track process (determination within 14 days) is for defined premises to apply for a pavement licence for defined purposes, without the need for planning permission. A pavement licence, when applied for and granted, allows the licence holder to place removable furniture on certain highways adjacent to the premises for certain purposes. 

For an extended period until September 2024, the Government has relaxed the planning requirements for temporary structures. This means that any moveable structures situated on pavements or squares or land adjacent to an existing authorised use would not require planning permission during that period. These structures would still require a pavement licence. 

A pavement licence does not give permission for those who do not hold a premises licence under the Licensing Act 2003 to serve or sell alcohol or provide regulated entertainment. Those who wish to provide licensable activities will still need to apply for a premises licence

Further guidance about pavement licenses can be found on GOV.UK.

Licences can only be granted in respect of highways listed in section 115A(1) Highways Act 1980. Generally, these are footpaths restricted to pedestrians or are roads and places to which vehicle access is restricted or prohibited.

  • Licence holders must make reasonable provision for parts of the outside seating area to be made a ‘no smoking’ area
  • Any businesses which apply for a pavement licence will also need to have regard to their duties under the Equality Act 2010, such as their duty under s.29 of the Act not to discriminate in providing their service.

Highways maintained by Network Rail or over the Crown land are exempt (so a licence cannot be granted). A pavement licence cannot be granted where the highway would be obstructed, so as to prevent non vehicular traffic from:

  • Entering the relevant highway at a place where such traffic could otherwise enter it (ignoring any pedestrian planning order or traffic order made in relation to the highway)
  • Passing along the relevant highway
  • Having normal access to premises adjoining the relevant highway
  • Preventing any use of vehicles which is permitted by a pedestrian planning order or which is not prohibited by a traffic order
  • Preventing statutory undertakers having access to any apparatus of theirs under, in, on or over the highway

Preventing the operator of an electronic communications code network having access to any electronic communications apparatus kept installed for the purposes of that network under, in, on or over the highway.

When determining whether furniture constitutes an unacceptable obstruction, the Council will consider the needs of disabled people, as set out in the Department for Transport’s ‘Inclusive Mobility’ document in force.

Businesses such as Public Houses, Cafes, Bars, Restaurants, Coffee Shops, and Ice Cream Parlours can apply for the new pavement licence for the following purposes:

  • Use of the furniture by the licence holder to sell or serve food or drink supplied from, or in connection with relevant use of the premises
  • Use of furniture by other persons for the purpose of consuming food or drink supplied from, or in connection with relevant use of the premises

Pavement licences for 2023/24 are from 1 October 2023 to 30 September 2024. The fee is £100. We send you an invoice for this fee once we issue your licence.

Premises which hold a premises licence may also benefit from another change regarding the provision of ‘Off Sales’. Further information about the changes to temporary alcohol licensing provisions can be found on GOV.UK.

Pavement licence conditions

To ensure pavement licenses are used in a safe and appropriate manner, the council has set standard conditions which will apply to all licences granted, (or tacitly deemed granted) these can be found below.

Additional individual specific conditions may also be attached to the licence, where it is considered necessary.

The Secretary of State can also impose conditions, which will have effect on all licences, including those already in effect and issued.

Further guidance about pavement licenses can be found on GOV.UK.

How to apply for a pavement licence

Complete the application form below and email it to along with all required supporting documentation, including a plan which clearly shows the premises and the area of the highway you wish to use to.

All applications and any questions about the application process must be sent to

Notice of application for a pavement licence

On the same day an applicant submits the application, they must complete and display the required notice (below), along with a plan showing the area where furniture is to be placed, at or near the premises.

The notice must be prominently displayed so that it can be easily read by those outside the premises, until the end of the consultation period i.e. eight days. If an applicant fails to display the notice for the required period of time, the application will be refused.

Applicants are required to submit a photo of the notice at the premises with the application.

Pavement licence notice319KBpdf
Size: 319KBFile format: pdf

Consultation period and representations for pavement licence applications

The consultation period is seven days (five working days), starting from the day after the application is submitted to the council. During this time any person can make representations against the application.

The council will also consult with:

  • Highways
  • Cambridgeshire Constabulary
  • Planning
  • Licensing
  • Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue
  • Pollution control
  • Food and safety
  • Local councillors

Applications under consultation where representations can be made

To object to an application for a pavement licence, email within the consultation period giving clear reasons why you object to the application, or part of the application.

Middletons Steakhouse

The deadline for comments is 27 November 2023.

At the end of the consultation period the council has seven days (five working days) to determine the application. The application, all supporting documentation and all representations received will be considered when making a determination.

Applicants maybe contacted during this period to discuss their application further. The application may be refused, or granted, or granted with modifications. Such modifications may affect the licensed area, the timings of use, use and/or type of furniture, etc. differing to those applied for, and/or the addition of individual conditions

There is no provision to appeal.

However, if you disagree with any decision made regarding a pavement licence you should email clearly stating the reasons why you disagree with the decision, it would be helpful if you headed the email PAVEMENT LICENCE - APPEAL.

The council can revoke or serve notice on any pavement licence holder, if any conditions of the licence are breached, or the highway is being obstructed. Where the council is required to take action regarding the breach, reasonable charges can be claimed against the licence holder.

Action will be taken where:

  • There are risks to Public Health or Safety
  • The use of the highway is causing an unacceptable obstruction
  • The use is causing anti-social behaviour or public nuisance
  • If it comes to light that the applicant provided false or misleading information

The applicant failed to comply with the requirement to affix a notice to notify the public for the required period

The relevant part of the highway becomes unsuitable for the purpose.

If you would like to make a complaint about the use of a pavement licence you can email

Premises with pavement licences

The following premises in Peterborough have approved pavement licences until 30 September 2024:

  • Argo Lounge
  • Bijou
  • Blind Tiger (ZT Logistics)
  • Bottle and Board Ltd
  • Caffe Nero (Nero Holdings Ltd)
  • Cote Brasserie
  • Embassy (Stonegate Pub Company)
  • Five Guys
  • Franco Manca
  • Grizzlers Burgers
  • Kaspas
  • Kokoro
  • Las Iguanas
  • Nandos
  • Nata Lisboa
  • O'Neills
  • Parrotts fish and chips
  • Pizza Express
  • Queens Head
  • Tap and Tandoori
  • The Bumble Inn
  • The Coffee House
  • The Dice Box
  • The Stoneworks Bar
  • Turtle Bay
  • Wagamama

To place tables, chairs or other temporary furniture on the pavement, you will need to apply to the council for street cafe consent under the Highways Act 1980.

All representations received must be considered and any other relevant authorities must be consulted. Consents must not be unreasonably withheld. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from us by the end of the target completion period.

There is a £100 fee.

Failed application redress

An appointed arbitrator will determine if consent has been unreasonably withheld. Please contact City Centres Services via email in the first instance, within 14 days.

Licence holder redress

An appointed arbitrator will adjudicate if there is disagreement as to conditions attached.

Other redress

It is always advisable to contact city centre services by emailing and giving details of any complaints e.g., space issues, another trader encroaching their tables and chairs on to the allotted spaces of the first trader.