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. Initially these licences were made available to 30 September 2021. The Government has recently changed the law to allow Pavement Licences to be issued until 30 September 2022.

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.
Parklet Terraces

To help hospitality businesses the Council will take appropriate steps temporarily to extend footways at suitable locations until September 2022 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 Pavement Licences in order to create “parklet terraces”, additional al fresco seating areas and to animate our streets.

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. 

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

Applications for pavement licences in the form of Parklet 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 Parklet Terrace. 

Stage 1 - Requesting a temporary footway extension

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 the Council’s Tables and Chairs team with reference to the guidance within this document. 

If the proposal is acceptable in principle, Council officers will arrange for the footway to be temporarily extended by suspending car parking bays and providing traffic cones. The Council will then email you with a date to confirm when the temporary footway extension will be in place.

Requests for temporary footway extensions must be made at least six weeks before you wish to have a licensed Parklet Terrace. 

Please contact tablesandchairs@rbkc.gov.uk to request for the footway to be temporarily extended to permit a subsequent application for a pavement licence for a parklet terrace to be made. 

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. 

Stage 2 - Applying for a pavement licence for a parklet terrace

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

Parklet terraces can occupy up to two on-street parking bays (or an equivalent surface area where there are other kerbside markings). The Council will expect parklet terraces to be proportional to the size and offering of the premises. Locations directly in front of ground floor residential dwellings are not suitable for parklet terraces. The Council will only issue a Pavement Licence on footway extensions in respect of proposals that are open to the footway and separated from the roadway. 

Where platforms are provided, they must be easily removable in the event of resurfacing or utility works. Alternatively, streets may need to be cleared of pavement furniture to host public events and large crowds, during the Notting Hill Carnival for example. Modular designs are favoured. In an emergency there may not be sufficient time for a joiner to come to disassemble timber constructions.


What pavement furniture can be licensed?

In appropriate locations, the Council will licence 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 licensed:

  • 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;
  • safety barriers, traffic cones etc. 
  • removable platforms to achieve a level surface (roads slope down to the kerb); 
  • heaters (energy efficient electric heaters should be used and only when absolutely necessary); 
  • planters; 
  • lights and;
  • umbrellas, gazebos, and canopies (canopies must be capable of being removed when the weather permits and should not be fixed structures. At least two sides need to open at all times, including that adjoining the footway)

What conditions will apply to pavement licenses?

Conditions which apply to pavement licences

The application site must be “adjacent to” the premises. There is a degree of flexibility in what “adjacent to” means. As a rule, it is important that any licensed pavement furniture can be seen from the application premises. We will only licence pavement furniture in front of contiguous frontages if we are satisfied that those neighbouring businesses support the pavement licence application. Applicants should provide evidence within their application submission to that end.

In order to limit the impact of external seating areas on residential amenity, licensed hours will normally be limited to between 8am and 10pm, Monday to Sunday. Any increase on 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 Parklet 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 parklet 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 parklet terraces to be enclosed with barriers on three sides to separate tables and chairs from vehicular areas, so as to maintain customer safety. 

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.

Under the Business and Planning Act 2020, 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 2 metres from any tables where smoking is permitted.

Standard National and Local Pavement Licence conditions

Conditions 1 and 2 (below) are national conditions. The remainder are conditions that apply within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

  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 mobility impaired and visually impaired persons 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. Heaters and Lights must be safely installed so as not to pose a risk of fire or injury. 
  9. The licensee is required to manage its premises and outdoor seating areas in accordance with current social distancing measures and government guidance. 
  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 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 a Pavement 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 is 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. 
  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 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 three 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 vehicular areas. The maintenance of these items in position is the responsibility of the licence holder. Objects on the boundary of the licensed area must be painted brightly with appropriate reflective markings so that they can be easily seen after dark. 
  22. The pavement licence holder shall ensure that the management team of the business to which the pavement 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 Pavement 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 Pavement Licence (ACT eLearning Certificates are provided on successful on-line completion). 
  23. The Pavement licence holder shall ensure that the existing CCTV systems are correctly working, are compliant with the Data Protection Act 2018, 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.
  24. 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 Friday 26, Saturday 27, Sunday 28 and Monday 29 August 2022. 
Adhering to a Pavement Licence

The Council is giving businesses the opportunity to trade from the public realm in expectation that they will act considerately and adhere to all licence conditions at all times. The Council has discretion in the granting of Pavement Licences and the Council has broad powers to revoke Pavement Licences and to require that pavement furniture be removed. 

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). 

Pavement furniture including platforms left out on the street unused for more than two days is not serving a lawful purpose under the Business and Planning Act 2020 and constitutes an obstruction of the highway against which action will be taken.
 


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 tablesandchairs@rbkc.gov.uk. 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 tablesandchairs@rbkc.gov.uk on the application date. 

There will be a one-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 2022, 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 three months. Parklet Terraces will be licensed during the summer months (April to September) only.

We will generally grant Pavement Licences until 30 September 2022, 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 three months.

 

Last updated: 15 September 2021