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Furniture on the Highway

If you wish to place furniture on the highway (this includes any footpath or pedestrianised area), you will require permission from the City Council.

The Business and Planning Act 2020 introduced a new, temporary application process for obtaining Pavement Licences to permit furniture to be placed on the highway. The new process aims to support businesses such as cafes, restaurants and bars in operating safely whilst social distancing, and provide much needed income for the hospitality industry following the long periods of closure during the COVID-19 pandemic. This legislation is in effect until 30 September 2024.

If your Pavement Licence expires on or before 30 September 2023 and you wish to continue providing outdoor seating on the highway, you must make a new application. Licences are not automatically extended. 

Applications for Tables and Chairs Permits can continue to be made under section 115E of the Highways Act 1980; the explanatory note below details the differences between the two types of permission. 

Please note that a Pavement Licence or Tables and Chairs Permit cannot be used alone to grant permission for an outdoor bar servery or similar for the sale of alcoholic drinks. This would require an application for a Premises Licence, an application to vary an existing Premises Licence, or a Temporary Event Notice.

The city council is required by law to publish details of pending applications for Pavement Licences. Details of pending applications can be found here.

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