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Pavement Licence

A pavement licence allows a licence holder to place removable furniture outside their premises for certain purposes

A temporary pavement licence is a licence granted by the local authority, or deemed to have been granted, which allows the licence-holder to place removable furniture over certain highways adjacent to the premises in relation to which the application was made, for certain purposes.

Pavement licences were introduced under the Business and Planning Act 2020 in response to supporting business recovery. The temporary process has been further extended and is in place until 30 September 2024.

If you have a current licence that is due to expire on 30 September 2023, you can now apply for a new one using the link below and providing the documents as per the checklist.

Document checklist

  • A copy of Public Liability Insurance certificate (minimum cover £5,000,000);
  • A plan showing the exact location and dimensions of the area to be licensed;
  • The location of the furniture within that area;
  • A description of the furniture/barriers to be used;
  • Photographs of the area to be covered by the tables and chairs licence and the surrounding highway
  • A fee of £100

How to apply

As you complete the application you will be asked to upload supporting documents as outlined above. 

After you've applied

Once we've received your application and all documents, we will send your application out for consultation. Consultees will include Cambridgeshire County Council Highways, the Police, the Fire Service, Licensing, Town and Parish Councils and our Environmental Health team.

The consultation period is 7 days, starting the day after the application is received. This is followed by a further period of 7 days for determination.

If the local authority does not determine the application before the end of the determination period, the licence is deemed to have been granted for a year (but not beyond 30 September 2024). The business can place the proposed furniture such as tables and chairs within the area set out in the application for the purpose or purposes proposed.

On the day you submit your application, please complete the template notice and display it in the premises window adjacent to the area you would like to licence. The notice must be clear and visible and must stay in place for the consultation period of 7 days.  Template Notice of Application (Word doc) [28KB]


It costs £100 per application. Licenses granted will expire on 30 September 2024, as per current regulations, unless revoked by the Council.

Businesses that can apply

A business that uses (or proposes to use) premises for the sale of food or drink for consumption (on or off the premises) can apply for a license. Eligible businesses include:

  • public houses
  • cafes
  • bars
  • restaurants
  • snack bars
  • coffee shops 
  • ice cream parlours

A licence permits the business to:

  • use furniture placed on the highway to sell or serve food or drink; and/or
  • allow furniture to be used by people to consume food or drink supplied from, or in connection with the use of the premises

Areas that can be applied for

Licences can only be granted in respect of highways listed in section 115A(1) Highways Act 1980. Generally, these are footpaths restricted to pedestrians or are roads and places to which vehicle access is restricted or prohibited.

Highways maintained by Network Rail or over the Crown land are exempt - this means a licence cannot be granted.

Items that can be used as street furniture

You can use the following furniture:

  • counters or stalls for selling or serving food or drink;
  • tables, counters or shelves on which food or drink can be placed;
  • chairs, benches or other forms of seating; and
  • umbrellas, barriers, heaters and other articles used in connection with the outdoor consumption of food or drink.

This furniture must be removable. Removable means it is not a permanent fixed structure. It should be able to be moved easily and stored away of an evening.

Do I still require a licence to sell alcohol? 

If you are granted a pavement licence, this only permits the placing of furniture on the highway. Other separate regulatory frameworks still apply e.g the need for alcohol licenses and the need to comply with registration requirements for food businesses.

Do I need planning permission?

Once a licence is granted the applicant will also benefit from deemed planning permission to use the land for anything done pursuant to the licence while the licence is valid. Therefore there is no need to apply for planning permission.

Determination (before granting a licence)

Before granting a licence, we must consider the following areas:

  • public health and safety - e.g ensuring that uses conform with latest guidance on social distancing and any reasonable crowd management measures;
  • public amenity - e.g will the proposed use create nuisance to neighbouring occupiers by generating anti-social behaviour and litter;
  • accessibility - taking a proportionate approach to considering the nature of the site in relation to which the application for a licence is made, its surroundings and its users. This should take account of:
    • any other temporary measures in place that may be relevant to the proposal, e.g the reallocation of road space. This could include pedestrianised streets and any subsequent reallocation of this space to vehicles;
    • if there are other permanent street furniture or structures in place on the footway that already reduce access;
    • the recommended minimum footway widths and distances required for access by mobility impaired and visually impaired people as set out in Section 3.1 of Inclusive Mobility; and
    • other users of the space, for example if there are high levels of pedestrian or cycle movements.

Members of the public can make representations or comments regarding applications. To do this, email

Applications - objections or refusals

If your application is refused, you will be given the reasons why. These reasons will be based on the application not fitting with the criteria as per section 3 of the Act.

If we receive objection(s) to your application, it doesn't mean it will be automatically refused. We will review your application and any objections will look to grant the license where possible. However, this may mean:

  • Additional conditions are added to your licence
  • Reductions on days or times you applied for
  • Reduction to the area you applied for

Licence conditions

A list of Standard & National conditions included in all licence granted can be found on our website.  Standard Pavement Conditions (Word doc) [109KB]

Some applications may include some specific additional conditions. These will be discussed with the applicant prior to the granting of the licence.


If a condition imposed on a licence (either by the local authority) or nationally is breached, the local authority will be able to issue a notice requiring the breach to be remedied. The authority can take action to cover any costs.

The authority may revoke a licence if:

  1. Breach of condition has taken place (whether or not a remediation notice has been issued); or
  2. Where:
    • there are risks to public health or safety - e.g by encouraging users to breach government guidance on social distancing by placing tables and chairs too close together;
    • the highway is being obstructed (other than by anything permitted by the licence);
    • there is anti-social behaviour or public nuisance - e.g the use is increasing the amount of noise generated late at night and litter is not being cleaned up;
    • the applicant is found to have provided false or misleading statements in their application - e.g they are operating a hot food stall and had applied for tables and chairs for drinks to be consumed; 
    • the applicant did not affix the notice to notify the public for the relevant period. 
  3. The local authority can also revoke the licence if all or any part of the area of the relevant highway that the license relates to has become unsuitable for any purpose the licence was granted or deemed to be granted - e.g the licenced area (or road adjacent) is no longer pedestrianised. 

If you have any queries, please email

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