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Pavement and café licences (Highways Act and Business and Planning Act)

You need a licence to place furniture (such as tables and chairs), sales or display materials and equipment on the pavement outside your business

Pavement café licence (under the 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) you can apply for a pavement cafe licence. Below you can:

Pavement licence (under the Highways Act 1980)

To put sales or display materials outside your premises on the public highway you can apply for a pavement licence. Below you can::

To put equipment such as plant pots outside your presmises on a public highway you can apply for an equipment licence. Below you can:

Check for planning permission

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 planning team before you submit a pavement café licence application. You can do this by email to planning@bcpcouncil.gov.uk.

How to apply

To apply please read the guidance and fill in the online application.

For any questions contact:

We will inspect the area to make sure that no obstruction or nuisance could be caused to others and 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 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 and the area does not include any public highway.

If you are in doubt about whether you need a licence, please email  highwayenforcement@bcpcouncil.gov.uk.

Fees

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

Pavement Licence (under the Business and Planning Act 2020)

The Business and Planning Act is the temporary legislation brought in by the Government to assist and fast track applications for businesses that don't have a licence and, due to social distancing, require outside seating.

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

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

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 contact us at:

Fees (up to 30 September 2021)

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

Changes to a licence

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

Useful contacts

Highways Support Team:  
01202 118551 
highwayenforcement@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

Customer Service Planning Team: 
01202 123321
planning.bournemouth@bcpcouncil.gov.uk