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Street cafe

Temporary Permits (COVID-19)

To support local businesses planning for reopening in the coming weeks, the County Council is introducing an informal temporary licence which, if the application is not contentious, will enable businesses to provide outdoor seating, in line with our terms and conditions, whilst the consultation is undertaken rather than once the consultation is complete.  For more information see here.

You must apply for a licence to have cafe seating and tables on the public highway – that is any paved or pedestrianised area. Devon County Council have the power to remove any unlicensed items from the highway.  If we instruct our contractor to instigate the removal process, we will then seek to recover costs, this could be in the region of £3,000.

Devon County Council is the licensing authority for street cafes, however the following authorities manage applications on our behalf in their local areas.

Please note: Charges through the above authorities may differ to those quoted below.

Apply for a licence

To apply for a licence, download the application form and submit completed to  We will acknowledge receipt and aim to give you a decision within 12 weeks, which includes the consultation period. We recommend you apply as early as possible to prevent disappointment.

If you need help filling in the form, here’s an example application form which shows the kind of thing we are looking for. If you are still stuck, ring us on 01392 385084.

  • There must be a minimum width of two metres of footway remaining for pedestrians.
  • An initial licence costs £200, with a yearly renewal fee of £85.
  • You must hold public liability insurance for a minimum of £5 million.
  • Planning permission may be required in addition to this licence.
  • Items must be safe, practical, portable and in keeping with surroundings.
  • You need to provide clear diagrams showing your proposal. These examples show acceptable and unacceptable diagrams.
  • By law we must carry out a 28 day public consultation on all new applications.
    Licences are non-transferable. So, for example, you can’t operate under a previous owner’s licence.

Please read our terms and conditions and guidance notes before applying. More information can be found in our frequently asked questions.

An existing licence must be renewed at least two weeks before it expires. If you wish to renew, please contact us on quoting your reference number and contact details.