Pavement Licences

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

The Business and Planning Act 2020 received Royal Assent on 22 July 2020. This 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.

This legislation is in effect until 30 September 2021, after which time the City Council will revert to its previous application process for licences granted under section 115E of the Highways Act 1980.

Please note that a ‘pavement licence’ 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, or an application to vary an existing Premises Licence.

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

  • Differences between Pavement Licences and Table and Chairs Permits

    Pavement Licence (Business and Planning Act 2020)

    • Decision made within 14 days
    • Cost: £100
    • Advertised by the applicant and the council
    • If granted, valid for 12 months or until 30 September 2021 (whichever is soonest)
    • Must make provision for non-smoking area, by law

    Tables and Chairs Permit (Highways Act 1980) 

    • Decision made within 35 days
    • Cost: £100
    • Advertised by the applicant
    • If granted, valid for 12 months
  • How to apply for a Pavement Licence

    If you wish to place furniture on the highway (this includes any street or pedestrianised area), you will require a Pavement Licence from Winchester City Council. When applying for this licence, you must provide all required information and supplementary materials as outlined below. Failure to provide these will result in your application being rejected.

    To be eligible to apply, you must be acting on behalf of a premises used for the sale of food or drink for consumption on or off the premises. Businesses that are eligible include public houses, cafes, bars, restaurants, coffee shops and ice cream parlours.

    You will be required to specify the type and style of furniture that you intend to place within the licensable area. The furniture must be removable (i.e. not permanently fixed to the ground or any other structure, and can be easily stored somewhere other than the highway outside of licensable hours. For the purposes of this licence, ‘furniture’ includes:

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

    Please note that Advanced Warning Signs (A boards and other free standing signs) are not considered ‘furniture’ under the Business and Planning Bill 2020, and therefore cannot be considered under this regime. Applicants who install Advanced Warning Signs outside their premises may be subject to enforcement action under the Highways Act 1980.

    The use of removable barriers (e.g. solid or rope barriers) to mark the boundary of the area used for furniture is highly encouraged by the City Council. Details of any barriers must be included on the application alongside details of furniture and other structures. These barriers must also be removable.

    An application can be made using the online application form. A fee of £100 is payable upon application. We regret that we cannot accept paper / hard copy applications.

    Documents Required

    The following documents must be provided with your application: 

    • You must supply a plan of the proposed area to be used for the furniture, including measurements of your premises, the width and depth of the area to be used, and the width of the highway. The proposed licensable area must be clearly shown with a red line or border. Plans do not need to be to scale, provided that the measurements are clear.
    • You must provide evidence that the Council is indemnified against any claim arising from the operation of the licence, by Public Liability Insurance cover of at least £5,000,000.
    • You must provide proof of your right to occupy the premises i.e. copy of lease.
    • You must provide proof of written consent from all owners and occupiers (including residents) of premises adjoining the highway on which the furniture is proposed to be placed. These persons are known as ‘frontagers.’ If the frontager is a company, then consent must be provided by an authorised officer of that company who should confirm that they are duly authorised to give consent. A template for writing to frontagers can be found here. 

    It is recommended that applicants also submit photographs of any existing damage to the relevant areas of the highway. This may be used in evidence should the Highways Authority seek to recover costs for the repair of damage caused by the use of removable furniture under a Pavement Licence.

    For licences obtained under the Business and Planning Act 2020, no planning permission is required for placing furniture on the highway. However, applicants are responsible for determining whether any advertising material outside the premises requires planning permission.

    Consultation and Determination

    Once a valid application is submitted, the applicant must display a ‘notice of intention’ in the window of the premises. This must be displayed for 7 days (not including Bank Holidays), starting from the day that your application is submitted. The notice will include details for how members of the public can make representations to the City Council is respect of your application. Templates for this notice are available to download from the right-hand side of this page.

    During the consultation period, the City Council will also display notice of your application on the Council website, and consult with the Highways Authority to obtain their consent for your proposals. Please note that the Highways Authority will not normally grant permission for proposals where there is less than 1.5 metres of clear highway between the proposed area for furniture and the edge of the live carriageway.

    The Council will also notify local Ward Councillors, Parish Council(s) and Hampshire Constabulary’s South East Counter Terrorism Unit of the application for their information.

    The City Council will take into consideration any representations received, in addition to how your proposal may impact accessibility for pedestrians and public health and safety (including social distancing). The City Council will issue a decision on your application within 7 days (not including Bank Holidays) of the consultation period ending.

    Where a licence is granted it will be valid for period of 12 months, or until 30 September 2021, whichever is soonest. The City Council reserves the right to grant licences for a period of less than 12 months (but not less than 3 months) if it considers it necessary.

    Conditions

    A set of standard, local conditions will be added to your licence, if granted. A copy of these conditions can be seen on the right-hand side of this page. These must be complied with at all times. Any national conditions as set out by the Secretary of State also apply and must also be complied with.

    The City Council reserves the right to impose additional conditions on individual licences where it considers it necessary.

    Compliance and Enforcement

    All furniture must remain within the specified licensable area during the days and times specified on the licence. Outside of these times, the furniture must be removed from the highway and stored elsewhere i.e. inside the premises.

    Any breach of the licence terms or conditions may result in either the licence being revoked, or the City Council serving a notice on the licensee to rectify the issues within a specified time period. Failure to comply with the terms of the notice may result in the licence being revoked, or the City Council taking their own action to remove the furniture (the cost of which would be recovered from the licensee).

    The City Council may revoke licences for reasons outlined within the Pavement Licensing Policy.

    There is no statutory appeal process for revocation of the licence.

  • How to apply for a Tables and Chairs Permit (s115E Highways Act 1980)

    Permits for placing catering furniture on the highway can also be applied for under section 115E of the Highways Act 1980. However, the aim of the Business and Planning Act 2020 is to provide an expedited process for obtaining Pavement Licences, and therefore permits under the Highways Act 1980 are unlikely to be required until after 30 September 2021.

    If you wish to apply for a Tables and Chairs Permit under section 115E of the Highways Act 1980, please complete the online application form. You will require a credit/debit card to pay the application fee of £100.

    You mut provide the following documents with your application:

    • You must supply a plan of the proposed area to be used for the furniture, including measurements of your premises, the width and depth of the area to be used, and the width of the highway. The proposed licensable area must be clearly shown with a red line or border. Plans do not need to be to scale, provided that the measurements are clear.
    • You must provide evidence that the Council is indemnified against any claim arising from the operation of the licence, by Public Liability Insurance cover of at least £5,000,000.
    • You must provide proof of written consent from all owners and occupiers (including residents) of premises adjoining the highway on which the furniture is proposed to be placed. These persons are known as ‘frontagers.’ If the frontager is a company, then consent must be provided by an authorised officer of that company who should confirm that they are duly authorised to give consent.

    You will also need to display a 'notice of intention'. Please contact the Licensing Department for a template for this (it is not currently available on our website to prevent confusion with the Pavement Licence application procedure).

    If an applicant has already applied for permission to place furniture on the highway under the Highways Act 1980 and their application has not been determined they may proceed with that application. However, that applicant may opt to make a fresh application for a Pavement Licence under the new process. In those circumstances the pending application will be deemed to have been withdrawn. If the fee for the pending application was paid, then we will not charge a fee for the new application for a pavement licence.