Temporary Street Cafe Licencing (COVID-19)
The County Council recognises that street cafes (tables and chairs) outside premises, on paved or pedestrianised areas that are public highway, may assist with accommodating customers whilst following social distancing guidelines*.
The formal process to apply for a 12 month renewable licence for a street café takes up to 12 weeks including a statutory 28 day notice period during which representation may be made by interested parties.
To support local businesses, 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 formal consultation is undertaken rather than when complete.
Applications should be made in the normal way following the existing guidance notes.
An initial consultation will be undertaken with emergency services, district, town and parish councils, local members and a number of other interested parties within a shorter timeframe than the formal consultation. If the application is considered to be in line with the guidance, is safe and not affecting the ability for pedestrians to pass whilst socially distancing, an informal temporary licence will be issued. Furniture should not be placed on the highway until temporary permission has been granted.
If objections or complaints are received at any time, the licence may be withdrawn, and the street café may be removed, until such time that the objections and/or complaints are resolved.
Once a temporary licence has been issued, the application will be progressed to the formal process and subject to a statutory 28 day notice period. Our street café licence fees will apply.
To help support businesses during this difficult time the temporary licence will be supplied free of charge. The street café licence fee will be applied when the formal licence has been issued.
Changes to existing licences
Businesses who have existing street café licences and wish to consider expanding the area permanently to accommodate customers will be able to follow a similar process. A temporary informal licence will be issued for the expanded area if the application is considered to be in accordance with the guidance notes, safe and not unduly imposing on the ability for pedestrians to pass whilst socially distancing.
The formal statutory consultation will follow, and as amendments require a statutory 28 day notice period, the new street café licence application fee applies. A new 12 month licence will be issued upon successful completion of the notice period.
Temporary changes to licences
Requests for a temporary change to an existing licence, which is intended to only be in place whilst social distancing measures apply, should be direct to the relevant district council.
*It will be the applicants’ responsibility to assess the layout of the customer seating area in relation to any government social distancing guidelines.