Pubs, restaurants and cafes that are planning to have outside seating for customers on the public highway are being reminded to apply for a Pavement Licence.
As lockdown restrictions continue to ease and with plans for the hospitality sector to reopen from Monday 12 April with outdoor seating, subject to Government confirmation, North East Lincolnshire Council and ENGIE are encouraging local businesses to apply for a licence and avoid possible enforcement action.
A licence is required to make sure that enough space is available for the safe and free movement of all people using the highway. It also considers any possible noise disturbance for nearby residents and business owners.
Any license will only be issued after consideration of five key points:
- Clear routes of access along the highway need to be maintained for the public
- Public health and safety
- Public amenity, taking in anti-social behaviour and nuisance factors
- Accessibility and other temporary measures in place
- Any potential noise disturbance for nearby residents and businesses
In line with the latest Government guidance for the issuing of pavement licences, the fast tracked application process, which began in 2020, has been extended across the UK. Officers are able to process an application in ten working days once all the required documentation has been received (the licence is assumed to be granted if not determined within this period). The fee charged to process applications is £100, if the application is refused no payment is required.
Licenses are granted for a 12 month period and subject to periodic reviews to ensure compliance with the licence’s terms and any additional changes to national COVID-19 measures and guidance.
Local businesses with an existing application do not need to re-apply, but the applicant will need to apply for a renewal when the licence is nearing expiry should they wish to continue placing tables and chairs on the highway.
Tables and chairs placed on the public highway, without first obtaining a licence, will lead to the proprietor facing possible enforcement action. The legalities around the current licensing scheme only apply to bars, cafes, and restaurants, therefore the Council can only enforce against these types of businesses.
To apply for a pavement license, visit www.nelincs.gov.uk and search for “pavement license”.