Fast track pavement licences are to become a permanent fixture, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has revealed.
The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill which includes the fast-track pavement licence provisions, will be extended to September 2023 before becoming law.
Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Greg Clark, said:
“We want to see bustling town centres across the country and that’s why the changes we made to licensing rules will become permanent.
“Making al fresco dining a permanent fixture on our high streets is part of our plan to level up communities and create vibrant places people want to live and work.”
First introduced during the pandemic to enable the hospitality industry to reopen their businesses to customers whilst maintaining social distancing measures, pavement licences helped boost trade by allowing people to dine outside. The outdoor seating licences will apply to businesses in England only.
Businesses with a pavement licence approved on or before 22nd July 2022 will need to reapply if they want to continue using tables and chairs on the highway after 30th September 2022.
The licence fee varies depending on the local authority, but it’s designed to be a fast-tracked process with a reduced rate that’s capped at £100. To find out more about pavement licences, click here.