Fast track pavement licence to drive forward cafe culture bounce back

Local cafes, restaurants, bars and many more high street businesses are being encouraged to apply for a fast track pavement licence as part of the council’s plans to turbo charge an economic bounce back.

Ahead of any changes to government guidance BCP Council has set up a fast track pavement licence service and is encouraging businesses wanting to use the space outside their premises for table and seating arrangements to submit an online application where viable.

Councillor Philip Broadhead, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Economy at BCP Council, said: “This is a year of opportunity and we are determined to do whatever it takes to give our high street businesses the fastest bounce back possible.

"With social distancing measures likely to remain in place for some time, we know that for many businesses - particularly those in the hospitality sector – space indoors is limited.

“Creating a cafe and street culture is something we can all get behind when government guidance changes and we are able to come together again. When people think of their favourite cities and towns they often think of the outside space and cafe culture. It's the people, the food, the entertainment, the sense of togetherness that provides that hustle and bustle making us want to return again and again. So by giving our local businesses the opportunity to use the space outside their premises we can bring about a quicker bounce back for our local economy, as well as boost that desirable cafe culture across our area.

“Using the emergency powers granted to us I am pleased we have put this fast track service in place so that we can give businesses a quicker turnaround on the permissions needed, helping them to make the most of the space when the time comes to welcome back customers.”

Under the plans, an enhanced team has been set up to make sure that once applications are received, they are processed within 14 days, meaning decisions will be turned around swiftly. Where viable, it means businesses will be able to set up furniture and use the space outside their premises once a licence has been granted.

120 businesses across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole already have a pavement licence.

To find out more and submit an online application please visit: bcpcouncil.gov.uk/pavementlicences