Tables and chairs licensing

Apply for a Pavement Licence

The Council has long recognised the positive contribution that outdoor hospitality makes to enlivening our streets and creating attractive and successful places for residents and visitors to enjoy. For example, outdoor seating is key to the success of Pavilion Road as a destination. During the pandemic, when indoor dining was restricted, the opportunity to eat outdoors was valued and enjoyed by many who live, work, or visit the borough. Many new outdoor venues opened up and they have generally been very well received, safe and inviting. They have served to support our hospitality businesses and in turn the borough’s local economy and well as benefiting the local community. 

Pavement Licensing

In the Business and Planning Act 2020, the Government introduced a new type of licence, called a Pavement Licence, to make it easier for hospitality businesses to operate on the street. These licences remove the need for Planning Permission. Pavement Licences can be issued on footways, temporary footway extensions (using suspended parking bays) or on closed roads. Current regulations allow Pavement Licences to be issued until 30 September 2024.

Types of Licences

Pavement Licences on Footways
  • Pavement furniture or outdoor hospitality activity must not obstruct pedestrians, especially those with pushchairs or particular mobility needs.
  • In most circumstances 2.5m of clear footway width is recommended to allow pedestrians to maintain social distance and to prevent footways becoming congested.
  • On our busiest high streets, 3.5m clear footway width is recommended.
  • We will resist excessive encroachment onto the pavement, where walking on our streets becomes difficult, and the streets themselves become unattractive to use.
  • On quieter footways, where passing occurs infrequently, the minimum the Council can accept is 1.5 metres in line with Department for Transport guidance, “Inclusive Mobility” (2005) and to satisfy Section 149 of the Equalities Act 2010.
Summertime terraces

To help hospitality businesses the Council will take appropriate steps temporarily to extend footways at suitable locations during the warmer, brighter months of British Summer Time (i.e. from late March to late October) every year, by providing traffic cones to demarcate the extent of additional footway areas. This Council initiative seeks to broaden the opportunity for businesses to apply for consent to create “summertime terraces” and to animate our streets during the warmer months.

Public safety is vital and that is why we can only offer footway extensions in locations with limited traffic. Busier roads, usually those with bus routes, would not be suitable for footway extensions. Even in quieter locations, careful consideration will be given to the risks to public safety of any proposal. Examples of suitable locations are mixed use frontages, neighbourhood centres and areas adjoining these locations.

Summertime terraces should extend the footway in an attractive way that contributes positively to the street scene.

Applications for pavement licences in the form of summertime terraces can only be considered in locations where temporary footway extensions are already in place. Accordingly, there are two stages to securing consent for a Summertime Terrace.

Requesting a temporary footway extension (Stage 1)

A temporary footway extension must be arranged with the Council and put in place before an application for a pavement licence can be submitted. Proposals for temporary footway extensions will be considered by Council officers with reference to the guidance within this document. 

Requests for footway extensions can be made by filling in the Footway Extension Expression of Interest form below.

Start form

If the proposal is acceptable Council officers will arrange for the footway to be temporarily extended by suspending car parking bays or arranging a dispensation on yellow line and providing traffic cones. An implementation fee of £557 will be sought from applicants to cover the Council’s costs in assessing the proposal and implementing the temporary footway extension.

The Council will also levy a monitoring fee of £121 per metre length of temporary footway extension to cover the Council’s monitoring costs over a British Summer Time season. The monitoring would be levied in tranches with charges levied on 1 May, 1 July and 1 September. A one bay footway extension would therefore cost £1,162 for a full season (£557 implementation fee; £605 monitoring fee). A double bay footway extension would cost £1,767.

The Council will email applicants a link to an online payment page to allow the implementation fee to be paid and to agree to the payment of monitoring fees. On payment of the implementation fee, applicants will receive confirmation that the temporary footway is implemented and that it is possible to apply for a pavement licence for a summertime terrace.

Please note that a positive agreement to extend the footway does not guarantee that a pavement licence will be granted for that section of footway. These are two separate decisions.

If following due process, the Council refuses a pavement licence application for a summertime terrace, the associated parking suspensions and or/ yellow line dispensation will be cancelled and the implementation fee received in respect of the temporary footway extension will be refunded to the applicant. 

Applying for a pavement licence for a summertime terrace (Stage 2)

Once an area of highway has been designated as a temporary footway extension, as confirmed by the Council by email, a business can apply for a pavement licence in the form of a summertime terrace.

What pavement furniture can be licensed?

In appropriate locations, the Council will approve any pavement furniture items reasonably associated with external dining or the serving of food or drink. Speakers and music will not be permitted.

The following items could potentially be approved under a highway licence or a planning permission, if required: 

  • counters or stalls for serving food or drink
  • tables, counters or shelves on which food or drink can be placed
  • chairs, benches or other forms of seating
  • safety barriers, up to waist height (approximately one metre above the ground) 
  • traffic cones 
  • removable platforms to achieve a level surface (roads slope down to the kerb, these facilities should be designed to be accessible to those with wheelchairs and mobility needs)
  • planters 
  • lights 
  • umbrellas and parasols

All items affording shelter should be retractable and removable. Fixed structures shall not be licensed. These items should be supported so as to ensure that all sides of the licensed area are open above waist level (approximately one metre above the ground) and do not block views of shopfronts from across the street.

What conditions will apply to pavement licences?

Conditions which apply to pavement licences

The application site must be directly in front of the premises or, where the premises is on a street corner, to the side. It is important that any licensed pavement furniture can be seen from the application premises. We will only license pavement furniture in front of contiguous frontages if we are satisfied that those neighbouring businesses support the licence application. Applicants should provide evidence within their application submission of their neighbours’ support for the proposals for the period being applied for.

In order to avoid external seating areas impacting unduly on residential amenity, licensed hours will normally be limited to between 8am and 10pm, Monday to Sunday. Any departure from these normal hours would need to be fully justified.

We require all licensed pavement furniture on footways to be easily removable. At the end time for the use of tables and chairs, they must be brought inside the premises or rendered unusable. In respect of summertime terraces it may be sufficient for tables and chairs to be put out of use and locked, in a safe manner. Planters, platforms and other means of enclosure can be left on street so long as they are secure, safe, include reflective strips and are protected by traffic cones.

The key to successfully managing summertime terraces beyond the kerb is the provision of a suitable enclosure to separate patrons from the roadway and to prevent activity spreading onto adjacent highway. Consequently, we require all proposals for summertime terraces to be enclosed with barriers on 3 sides to separate tables and chairs from vehicular areas, so as to maintain customer safety. These barriers should not exceed one metre in height. The barriers should, like all pavement furniture, be tasteful and should serve to enhance the streetscape.

It is vital that any external facilities proposed on the highway (including on public footways) are covered by the applicant’s insurance policy. We require public liability insurance to the value of £5 million. Any licence application for pavement furniture will be unsuccessful without proof of insurance. The safety of patrons and other highways users within the licensed area is the responsibility of the licensee.

Applicants must make reasonable provision for seating where smoking is not permitted. The application drawing should indicate which tables are to be smoke-free. Smoke-free seating areas must be a minimum of two metres from any tables where smoking is permitted.

Lighting associated with tables and chairs in pedestrianised streets and zones will be expected to be battery-powered LED lighting, consistent with the work the Council is doing to improve the environmental efficiency of lamp columns across the borough.

The Council will not license the use of artificial heaters on the highway. Blankets can be used to provide warmth. The weather should be favourable on most days during British Summer Time. On days when it is not, patrons have the option of sitting inside.

All licences shall include a condition that specifies the clear footway width that must be maintained in front of a given premises.

The standard conditions listed below will be applied to all licences issued under the Business and Planning Act 1980, whether they be for seating on footways or public spaces or for summertime terraces. 

  1. The Licensee must ensure that clear routes of access along the highway are maintained, taking into account the needs of disabled people, and the recommended minimum footway widths and distances required for access by those with mobility or visual impairments are provided at all times the licence is in operation.
  2. Where the furniture on the relevant highways consists of seating for use by persons, for the purpose of consuming food or drink, the licence holder must make reasonable provision for seating where smoking is not permitted.
  3. This licence permits the use of table and chairs or other authorised furniture on the highway only in the area designated on the plan attached to the licence.
  4. This licence permits the use of table and chairs or other authorised furniture on the highway only in connection with the use of the adjacent premises/ business at the application address.
  5. No alcohol is to be sold or consumed from the designated area identified unless that sale and/or consumption is approved under the Licensing Act 2003 which includes any temporary authorisations for the sale of alcohol permitted pursuant to the Business and Planning Act 2020.
  6. No furniture may be placed within the designated area identified on the plan other than that expressly permitted by the licence.
  7. This licence does not allow the use of loudspeakers, amplification or other similar equipment.
  8. All furniture approved for use, including tables, chairs, barriers, and umbrellas must be safe for public use and must be kept in good repair and condition.
  9. No plastic sheeting, Perspex screens, plastic adornments or fake greenery shall be placed within the licenced area or be attached to the pavement furniture hereby licensed.
  10. The licensee must ensure that good order and behaviour is maintained at all times by people using any tables and chairs or other authorised furniture pursuant to this licence and that no nuisance is caused to residential or business neighbours.
  11. All tables and chairs and other licensed objects shall be removed immediately from the highway when required by the Council, Metropolitan Police or other emergency services in the interest of public safety, public order, safe and efficient highway operation or to facilitate necessary statutory undertaker or utility works.
  12. All tables and chairs and other authorised furniture that is used in connection with this licence must be removable which means that it is not a permanent fixed structure and is able to be moved easily and stored off the highway if required.
  13. The tables and chairs and other authorised furniture shall not be placed on the highway before the time specified and are to be put out of use no later than 22:00 hours. Service at the tables should cease at 21:30 hours in order for this to be achieved. Trading may only take place on the days and during the times specified on the licence.
  14. A copy of the licence shall be displayed during the hours of trading in a prominent position agreed by the Council, either in the front window of the premises or nearby so as to be clearly visible from the outside to anyone wishing to inspect it.
  15. No fixtures to or excavation of any kind shall be made in the surface of the highway, which shall be left entirely undisturbed. Kerbside drainage channels shall not be obstructed – any licensed platforms shall not block kerbside drainage channels or gullies.
  16. The Licensee shall not use this licence unless it has public liability insurance cover in the sum of not less than £5 million and has provided a copy of that policy to the Council.
  17. Tables and chairs and other authorised furniture must be stored in such a way that they cannot be moved or used outside of licensed hours.
  18. Staff must regularly monitor the licensed area to ensure it is kept clean and tidy. Any litter or waste arising from use of the licensed area must be cleared away as soon as is practicable. The licence holder shall ensure that any spillages are promptly removed from the highway and restore the affected area of highway to a clean and safe condition. It is the responsibility of the licence holder to ensure that the licensed area is washed down on a daily basis. The licence-holder shall put in place suitable pest control arrangements and measures. The Council will recharge the licence-holder the full cost of any remedial work to remove any residual staining of the highway outside his or her premises, including the replacement of the paving stones if necessary, by pavement stones of an equivalent quality and to an equivalent standard.
  19. If the Council serves a Notice on the licence holder requiring him/her to take such steps as are necessary to remedy any breach of the terms of this licence, and the licence holder fails to comply with the notice the Council may itself take the steps required by the Notice and recover from the licence holder any expenses incurred.
  20. All pavement furniture placed on “footway extensions” shall be enclosed with barriers on 3 sides to separate tables and chairs from trafficked areas, so as to maintain customer safety.
  21. On footway extensions, planters, barriers, traffic cones and other prominent objects must be positioned on the roadway side of the licensed area to make it clearly visible and to physically separate the licensed area from trafficked areas. The maintenance of these items in position is the responsibility of the licence holder. Objects on the boundary of the licensed area must appear bright after dark with appropriate reflective markings so that they can be easily seen.
  22. On footway extensions, well maintained flower displays and/ or planting shall be provided within the licensed area to add greenery to the host street.
  23. The licence holder shall ensure that the management team of the business to which the licence is attached register and successfully complete the nationally recognised counter terrorism training product referred to as ACT eLearning package within 10 days of the grant of the licence OR can demonstrate that the ACT eLearning product has been successfully completed within the preceding 12 months and that all staff employed by or at the premises complete the ACT eLearning within a reasonable period not exceeding 3 months from date of the licence (ACT eLearning Certificates are provided on successful on-line completion).
  24. The licence holder shall ensure that the existing CCTV systems are working correctly, are compliant with the Data Protection Act 1998, Information Commissioner requirements, and any other CCTV Code of Conduct produced by the Police or Local Authority. Imagery shall be retained for at least 28 days and images produced given to a Police Officer or Local Authority Enforcement Officer upon reasonable request. Faults which render the CCTV system or parts of it inoperable should normally be rectified within 24 hours.
  25. For premises situated to the north of the A402 road (i.e. the streets named Notting Hill Gate or Holland Park Avenue), no items of pavement furniture, including platforms, barriers or decks, shall be placed on the highway at any time during the period of the Notting Hill Carnival; that is on the 3 days up to and including the August Bank Holiday.
  26. No advertisement or political slogans or symbols shall be displayed on the pavement furniture hereby licensed.
  27. The licence holder shall provide public access to the premises’ customer toilets (if available), without charge.
Adhering to a Pavement Licence

The Council is giving businesses the opportunity to trade from the public realm in the confident expectation that they will act considerately and adhere to all licence conditions at all times. The Council has discretion in the granting of licences and the Council has powers to revoke licences issued under the Business and Planning Act 2020.

The Council will take action to revoke any pavement licences that it considers to result in –

  • undue risks to public health or safety;
  • anti-social behaviour or public nuisance or;
  • the highway being obstructed (other than by anything done by the licence-holder pursuant to the licence).

Standard pavement licence condition 20 requires “on footway extensions, planters, barriers, traffic cones and other prominent objects must be positioned on the roadway side of the licensed area to make it clearly visible and to physically separate the licensed area from trafficked areas. The maintenance of these items in position is the responsibility of the licence holder”. The Council will closely monitor adherence to this condition as it is critical to highway safety. The Council will supply traffic cones on approval of a summertime terrace, and the licence holder will be expected to maintain the traffic cones in position. Traffic cones will occasionally be removed by third parties. When that occurs, the licence holder should contact the Council promptly to arrange for the delivery of replacement cones. Requests for replacement traffic cones should be made by email to [email protected].

Council officers shall prepare a case for revocation after a premises has been found to have committed four breaches of the pavement licence conditions, the fourth breach having followed receipt of two documented verbal warnings and one formal written warning from an authorised officer.

How to apply for a Pavement Licence 

You can apply online using our online application form.

Apply for a Pavement Licence

Please note that applications can only be made in respect of footway areas or closed roads. If you require a temporary footway extension, please arrange that in advance of making a pavement licence application by contacting [email protected]. There is no fee associated with arranging a footway extension.

The application fee for a Pavement Licence is £100. We will process your application within two weeks. 

On the application form we will ask you to:

  • specify whether the application is for external seating or for the serving/ vending of food or drink or for both purposes;
  • specify the part of the relevant highway to which the application relates; 
  • describe the type of furniture to which the application relates; 
  • a scale plan (drawing) is required; 
  • specify the days of the week on which, and the hours between which it is proposed to put furniture on the highway;
  • supply evidence of public liability insurance (£5 million); and,
  • confirm whether or not alcohol is to be served. 
What happens after you apply

Following submission of the application form you will receive an acknowledgement by email within half an hour. Attached will be a site notice. You are required by law to print the site notice and to post it in a prominent position on the premises frontage on the application date. Take a photo of the site notice in position and please send a copy of the photo you have taken to [email protected] on the application date. 

There will be a 2-week consultation period. The details of the application will be published online. The Council will take all representations into account before issuing any licence. Accordingly, there is a possibility that any licence application will be refused. But be assured, our intention is to licence any proposal that adheres to this guidance.  

The Council will grant you a Pavement Licence, if we are satisfied that your proposal:

  • does not impede pedestrian movement
  • is safe
  • facilitates social distancing
  • would not unduly impact on parking supply
  • would not unduly impact on residential amenity
  • would not unduly impact on visual amenity.

We will generally grant Pavement Licences until 30 September 2024, the final date allowed under the amended Business and Planning Act. In circumstances where we consider that issuing a licence for a shorter period would be prudent to monitor the impact of a proposal, we will issue a licence for 3 months. Summertime Terraces will be licensed during the summer months (April to September) only.

We will generally grant Pavement Licences until 30 September 2024, the final date allowed under the amended Business and Planning Act. In circumstances where we consider that issuing a licence for a shorter period would be prudent to monitor the impact of a proposal, we will issue a licence for 3 months.


Last updated: 11 April 2024